The budget speech by Nirmala Sitharaman stated that there’s a significant increase in the rice and wheat procurement along with the money paid to the farmers remarkably spiked since the Narendra Modi took over in 2013-2014. The amount paid to wheat farmers has seen a rise of more than 121% while the amount distributed to rice farmers massively amplified by 170.23%.
At the moment, where large number of farmers are protesting for the legal guarantee of the Minimum Support Price, in fear that the Modi government will discard the MSP system once the three farm bills are implemented, the Finance minister’s statement has turned out to be significant. While on the other hand the government is and has been assuring that the MSP will continue to be effective and will be strengthened as well.
To go over the commitment on developing the APMC’s, as announced by the government, it will allow utilizing one lakh crore as infrastructure fund for development of the state-controlled APMC mandis. This might calm the protesting farmers as the center is looking forward to abolish the mandi system by introducing the new laws.
According to Nirmala Sitharaman’s statement, wheat farmers were paid Rs. 33,874 crore in 2013-2014 in comparison to Rs. 75,050 crore in 2020-2021. The money given to the farmers of rice in the ongoing procurement season of 2020-2021 is estimated to be of Rs. 1, 72,752 crore in comparison to Rs. 63,928 crore in 2013-2014.
The number of farmers who have benefitted from this government procurement drive has substantially increased. According to the Finance minister the distribution to farmers of pulses and cotton has also increased with the money paid to the farmers of pulses is 40 times more to Rs. 10,532 crore in 2020-2021 from the previous Rs. 236 crore in 2013-2014.
Nirmala Sitharaman stated that “The amount paid to cotton farmers has gone up to Rs 25,975 crore in 2020-21 as on January 2021 – up from Rs 90 crore in 2013-14.”