If there is one section of the society the Union Budget tried to appease the most, that is the farmer community. In his first Budget, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal announced a number of pro-farmer proposals.

These are:

PM-KISAN


FM Piyush Goyal announced a new programme called the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) to provide assured income to small and marginal farmers. The programme provides for income support, Rs 6,000 annually, to vulnerable landholding farmer families, having cultivable land up to 2 hectares. Furthermore, this income will be transferred directly into the bank accounts of beneficiary farmers, in three equal instalments of Rs 2,000 each

In his speech, the FM announced, “Around 12 crore small and marginal farmer families are expected to benefit from this. The programme would be made effective from December 1, 2018, and the first instalment for the period up to March 31, 2019, would be paid during this year itself. This programme will entail an annual expenditure of Rs 75,000 crore.”

"PM-KISAN would not only provide assured supplemental income to the most vulnerable farmer families, but would also meet their emergent needs especially before the harvest season. PM-KISAN would pave the way for the farmers to earn and live a respectable living,” the FM added.

Loan incentives for calamity-hit farmers

Acknowledging the fact that farmers are generally unable to repay their crop loans when impacted by natural calamities, FM Piyush Goyal proposed an incentive for calamity-stricken famers against their crop loans.

Currently, crop loans are rescheduled for affected farmers and they get the benefit of interest subvention of 2% only for the first year of the rescheduled loan. In Budget 2019, all farmers affected by severe natural calamities, where assistance is provided from National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF), will be provided the benefit of interest subvention of 2% and prompt repayment incentive of 3% for the entire period of reschedulement of their loans.

Relief in loans under Kisan Credit Card


FM Piyush Goyal has also proposed a 2% interest subvention against loan availed through Kisan Credit Card (KCC) in case of farmers engaged in animal husbandry and fisheries. Furthermore, in case of timely repayment of loan, farmers will also get an additional 3% interest subvention.

The FM added, "To ensure provision of easy and concessional credit and to bring all farmers under KCC fold, our government has decided to initiate a comprehensive drive with a simplified application form."

Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog

In order to provide significant support to the Animal Husbandry and Fisheries sector, FM Piyush Goyal increased the allocation of Rashtriya Gokul Mission to Rs 750 crore in the current year.

Furthermore, he announced the setting up of "Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog" to upscale sustainable genetic up-gradation of cow resources and to enhance production and productivity of cows. The Aayog, FM added, will also look after effective implementation of laws and welfare schemes for cows.

New Department of Fisheries


Acknowledging the importance of the fisheries sector, which provides livelihood to ~1.45 crore people, FM Piyush Goyal announced the creation of a separate Department of Fisheries.