JAMMU, JAN 13: Terming the budget presented by the Finance Minister on Thursday as anti-farmer, General Secretary, J&K Kisan Tehreek Ghulam Nabi Malik said there is nothing in the Budget to boost the dying agriculture sector in Jammu and Kashmir.
Core sectors like agriculture and horticulture in terms of allocations have totally been neglected, despite the fact that these sectors are backbone of State’s economy and major chunk of population is dependent on it. The budget is a routine exercise of rhetoric and has nothing significant to offer. Instead it has generated disappointment for financially vulnerable sections of the society. Farmers were hoping that the government will provide some relief to agriculture sector and would announce some new schemes and provide some subsidies. But the government has failed to provide any relief to the farmers in the Budget.
There is no mention of making agriculture profitable, and providing irrigation facility and mandis for the produce of farmers in the Budget. A special package for farmers was a must in the Budget to boost the ailing agriculture sector. Lowering of interest rate on loans to the farmers to give impetus to the agriculture activities and crop insurance scheme are some of the unfulfilled demands of the farmers for years together. Crop Insurance Scheme has been confined to announcements only and nothing is being done to implement it on the ground.
A special package must be given to farmers as they face problems due to heavy rain fall and hailstorm in which the crops get damaged. Farmers and growers are also subjected to losses due to substandard and spurious pesticides and no attention has been paid to cope with this menace.
Significant potential exists for employment generation in rural areas through the development of appropriate rural-based agro-industries. But there is no mention of it in the Budget. Similarly, no allocations have been made to pay pension benefits for aged farmers.
People expected this Budget to deliver something really big to farmers – because of the pain they suffered due to demonetization as previous Budgets haven’t done anything for farmers. But once again, the farmers have been fed a lot of words. Compared to what the farmers wanted and the agriculture sector required, this was a washout.