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Union Budget 2018: Rs 14.34 lakh crore for rural sector; proposal to raise institutional credit for agriculture

SNS | New Delhi |

Finance minister Arun Jaitley presented the Budget 2018 today and announced a bounty of schemes and allocations for the rural and agriculture sector.

An allocation Rs 14.34 lakh crore for creating livelihood in rural sector has been proposed by the finance minister. He has announced that minimum support price (MSP) of all Kharif crops will be increased to at least 1.5 times that of the production cost.

FM Jaitley listed that the focus of government is on generating more incomes and visualising agriculture as an enterprise. He also proposed to raise institutional credit for agriculture to Rs 11 lakh Crore for 2018-19.

The government will take steps to boost exports of agriculture commodities which have the potential of reaching USD 100 billion, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said today.

The country’s agricultural exports are around USD 30 billion at present.

“India’s agri exports potential is as high as USD 100 billion against a current export of USD 30 billion. To realise this potential, export of agri commodities will be liberalised,” Jaitley said while presenting the Union Budget 2018-19 in the Lok Sabha.

He also proposed to set up state-of-the-art facility in 42 mega food parks.

The announcement assumes significance as the commerce ministry is working on a comprehensive policy covering issues such as logistics to promote export of agri commodities like tea, coffee, fruits and vegetables.

India is one of biggest producers and exporters of agri commodities.

Elements which could become part of the policy include certification and traceability of items. Besides, the ministry is also in the process of identifying countries where there is a maximum import demand for agri goods.

Agri-products account for over 10 per cent of the country s total exports.

(With PTI inputs)