Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley presented the union budget for 2018-19 with a new developmental framework with prime focuses on agrarian economy, rural development, social welfare, health, education and infrastructure development.
In his budget for 2018-19, the Finance Minister announced couple of agri-centric measures, including to raise the minimum support prices (MSP) for crops, to at least 1.5 times that of the production cost, creation of a Fisheries and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund and an Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund with a total corpus of Rs 10,000 crore, a Rs 2,000-crore Agri-Market Infrastructure Fund for developing nearly 22,000 rural Haats into Grameen Agricultural Markets and for upgrading the 585 existing Agriculture Produce Market Committees.
Another scheme Operation Green which focuses on kitchen staples such as tomatoes, onions and potatoes, to protect farmers from a sudden price crash was also launched. Operation Green shall promote Farmer Producers Organizations (FPOs), agri-logistics, processing facilities and professional management too.
Keeping in view of the export potentials of farm products, the export norms for agricultural commodities have been proposed to be liberalised with the aim at facilitating the way for making India’s agri-produce, particularly fruits and vegetables, compatible with global food-safety requirements.
The Finance Minister also emphasised on rural electrification and enhanced power supply in the villages. He announced Rs 16,000 crore under Pradhan Mantri Saubhagya Yojana for such power supply.