Amritsar, February 1
The Union Budget has received sharp reactions from agriculture sector as the budget allocation for the sector has been decreased.
Dr Satnam Singh Ajnala, president, Jamhoori Kisan Sabha, said, “The Budget allocation for agriculture has been cut by almost six per cent.”
He said it is strange that a sector which provides maximum employment in the country is not a priority sector for the government.
Ajnala said allocation for the agriculture, agriculture research and agricultural education is also shrinking from the last many years.
The farmer leader stated that while the Union Budget has given a ‘step-motherly’ treatment to the agriculture sector and has favoured the corporate.
“The corporate taxes have been left untouched by the union budget at 22 per cent. An increase in corporate taxes could have generated enough resources for all other government schemes,” he said.
Rattan Singh Randhawa of Border Area Sangharsh Committee said, “It is disheartening that the Budget has no provision to implement MSP for crops other than rice and wheat.” He said while the Budget has made allocation for ensuring purchase of wheat and rice, no other crops have been mentioned.
He added that in a major setback to MGNREGA workers, the allocation for the scheme has been reduced by nearly 32 per cent. “This would mean lesser working days and hence wages for the landless and unemployed workers,” he said.
The farmers also stated that no efforts have been made to increase research or irrigation facilities. They added that no special provisions has been made for Punjab, which is primarily an agricultural state, and is facing problems as depleting water table, drug addiction, agricultural debt trap and farmer suicides.
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