Budget 2016: FM Arun Jaitley lays special emphasis on agriculture

With a special focus on agriculture, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget 2016 speech highlighted the various measures that the Modi government plans to take for the sector. "Special focus has been given on timely credit to farmers," Jaitley said.

"Rs 35,984 crore allocated for agriculture in 2016-17. We are targeting Rs 8.5 lakh crore of agricultural credit in 2015-2016 and Rs 9 lakh crore in 2016-17," he said.

"A unified agriculture platform will be dedicated to the nation on the birth anniversary of BR Ambedkar," Jaitley announced. "Soil health card scheme will be implemented with greater vigour, all 14,000 crore farms will be included under it by 2017," Jaitley added.

Jaitley went on to say, "A dedicated irrigation fund worth Rs 20,000 crore will be set up under NABARD." "5 lakh acres will be brought under organic farming over a three year period," he added.

Jaitley started his speech by stressing on Indian economy's resilience amidst the current global economic turmoil. "Global economy is in a serious crisis. Financial markets have been battered but Indian economy has held its ground firmly."

"IMF has hailed India as a bright spot. Let us look at our achievements compared to the last three years of the last government. We inherited an economy with low growth and high inflation," Jaitley said.

"We have bridged the trust deficit created by the previous government," Jaitley added.

From focus on agriculture to tax and financial sector reforms, Jaitley outlined nine pillars to transform India: Agriculture and farmer welfare with an aim to double farmers' income in the next five years; Rural sector; Social sector including healthcare; Educational skills and job creation to make India a knowledge based and productive economy; Infrastructure investment to enhance quality of life; Financial sector reforms; Governance reforms and ease of doing business; Prudent management of government finances and Tax reforms to reduce compliance burden.


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