New Delhi, February 2
The Centre has slashed drastically the budgetary allocation under two agricultural schemes, meant for the MSP-based procurement.
The outlay for the Market Intervention Scheme and Price Support Scheme (MIS-PSS) has been slashed from Rs 1,500 crore in 2022-23 to a meagre Rs 1 lakh in 2023-24.
Notably, the MIS-PSS was launched to safegaurd the interest of horticulture growers and stop them from resorting to distress sale when prices plummet owing to a bumper produce.
The budgetary allocation under of the Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay Sanrakshan Abhiyan (PM-AASHA) also saw a decline from Rs 1 crore in 2022-23 to merely Rs 1 lakh in 2023-24 budget estimates.
The PM-AASHA, which was launched in September 2018, ensures that farmers who grow pulses, oilseeds and copra, get the MSP. Besides, the scheme’s main feature is a price support mechanism whereby Central agencies procure pulses and oilseeds directly from farmers.
Agricultural policy expert Devinder Sharma said, “The Budget is silent on the MSP. Besides, cut in the outlay of agricultural schemes proves that the government has no interest in increasing the farm income.”
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