Nation’s Prosperity Lies in Kisan’s Welfare, Says President
New Delhi: Addressing the joint session of Parliament at the beginning of budget session here, President Pranab Mukherjee has said that the nation’s prosperity lies in Kisan’s welfare only. Hence focus has been on holistic development of agriculture sector – making available affordable credit, ensuring assured supply of seeds and fertilizers, improving irrigation facilities, comprehensive risk coverage, improving productivity through Soil Health Cards, assured market and remunerative prices for the produce through e-NAM.
Highlighting the government’s initiatives, he said that the Government has taken various steps to transform the lives of farmers. Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana has been expanded the ambit of risk-coverage, doubled the sum insured, and facilitated lowest-ever premium for the farmers. During Kharif 2016, around 3.66 crore farmers were insured for a sum of Rs. 1.4 lakh crore, Pranab Mukherjee said.
Mukherjee said that with the objective of digitisation of all the live Kisan Credit Cards, another three crore cards will be converted into RUPAY debit cards soon. The corpus of NABARD fund has been doubled to Forty One Thousand crore to ensure easy credit access to farmers.
He said that with focus on Per Drop More Crop and “Har Khet ko Pani”, coverage under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana has been expanded. More than 12.7 lakh hectares have been brought under micro irrigation in the last two years.
Recalling soaring prices of pulses last year, said that the government has taken proactive steps and prices of pulses are now under control. To ensure fair price for farmers and to protect consumers, a buffer stock of 20 lakh tonnes of pulses has been envisaged against which 8 lakh tonnes of pulses have already been procured.
The president said that a favourable monsoon after consecutive years of drought, supplemented by farmer-oriented schemes has increased the acreage and yield of most Kharif crops. The sown area in the current Rabi season has shown six percent increase in comparison to last year.