Following is the statement of Shri Ananth Kumar, Union minister of Chemicals & Fertilizers on General Budget 2016-17:
“I congratulate Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley for presenting a growth oriented and people friendly budget today. The Hon’ble Finance Minister has presented a revival budget which will play an important role in the country's rejuvenation and restore confidence in Asia's third-largest economy.
The Budget of Shri Narendra Modi’s Government presented by the Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitely today, is Growth Oriented, Pro-Poor and pro-Middle Class, giving fillip to Infrastructure and Agricultural Growth, Investment Friendly while addressing the stagnation in a large number of critical development areas such as Education, Health, Upliftment of SCs & STs, Women’s safety, Gender issues and Care of Children and gives special focus on the Agricultural Sector and Rural Economy.
The last year budget had yielded positive results and this budget presented by the Government under the dynamic leadership of Shri Narendra Modi ji, Hon’ble Prime Minister would be an effort to further improve on the action plan to make the Indian Economy one of the most vibrant in the world. Steps taken in the budget to increase the crop yield in the rainfed areas, substantial budget allocation to crop insurance scheme will protect the farming community in a big way. Animal welfare and wellness programme is the first of its kind which will protect the cattle stock in the country.
The budget has reflected its intention to improve the life of the farming, the backbone of the food security of our country and the people of the rural areas by allocating an amount of Rs.35983 crores for agriculture and farmers’ welfare.The enhancement of the allocation for new infrastructure projects for irrigation, fertilizers and to enhance the coverage of irrigated areas is a major step which will go a long way in augmenting the income of the farmers. A unified e-platform for marketing purpose of the farmers is also a gigantic step which will go a long way in mitigating waste of agricultural produce and would yield better rates to them. Substantial allocation for National Soil Health scheme, increased production by way of organic farming, creation of long term irrigation fund, agricultural credit, interest subvention to the agricultural credit etc., will enhance the earnings of the farming community.Organic farming has been given a big push wherein the Govt will reorient its intervention in the farm and non-farm sector to double the income of farmers by 2022. 5 lakh acres to be brought under organic farming over a three-year period, which will increase the production of cultivation to a large extent, said the Minister.
As Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers, I am happy about the proposed Reform proposed for the fertilizer Sector and much needed transformation in the Agriculture envisaged in the budget as this will go a long way in ensuring sustainable livelihoods for farmers and food security. With this, the Government led by Hon’ble Prime Minister has illustrated the unwavering commitment to serving the poor. The proposal to introduce a pilot project of DBT to fertilizers would plug in the loopholes and ensure that the subsidy reaches the farmers directly. Further the proposal to enact a law to confer benefits on deserving sections on Aadhar platform will go a long way to ensure that the benefits given by the government reaches the deserving directly.
The Government has announced to provide LPG connections to women of 1.5 cr BPL households at a cost of Rs.2,000 crore in 2016-17. This would result in the improvement in the health condition of the women and empower them, generate employment opportunities in the rural areas and save substantial time for cooking to the women which could be used for productive work.
The increased allocation for Schemes such as Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY), Pradhan Mantri Jivan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY), and the Atal Pension Yojana(APY), would specially benefit the poor and the underprivileged. The proposal to cover 6 crore additional households under digital literacy scheme in next 3 years, is a step in the direction of adopting the technology for development of the people of the Country and augment the literacy level.
Allocation of 2.87 crores to the rural development, introduction of cluster facilitation scheme, augmenting the funds to MNREGA, 100% electrification of rural areas by 2018 would pave way for all round development of the Country which has a vast rural area. Swachh Bharat Mission has proved to be a great success in our Country. The call of the Hon’ble Prime Minister to the citizens had a positive impact on cleanliness, and I congratulate the Finance Minister for allocating 9000 crores for this purpose.
Health sector has been given priority by this Government. My Ministry will take all steps to ensure that the target of 3000 Jan Aushadi Stores announced by the Government is met. Setting up of National Dialysis Centre, enhancement of the amount for Health Insurance Scheme etc. are commendable steps.
I also congratulate my colleague the Finance Minister for his efforts in the foreign direct investment which has been liberalised across the board and vigorous efforts have been undertaken to ease the cost of doing business.
To empower the women and the youth of the Country, the Hon’ble Prime Minister had announced the Stand Up India Scheme recently. The Finance Minister has earmarked Rs 500 crore for SC, ST and women entrepreneurs under this scheme and 2 projects under Stand Up India to be promoted per bank branch per category would be prioritised.
Opening up of 62 new Navodaya Vidyalayas in the next 2 years, imparting training to 76 lakh youth under National Skill Development Mission, setting up of 1,500 multi skill training institutes with an objective to skill 1 crore youth in the next 3 years under the PM Kaushal Vikas Yojana has been announced for the development of the women and the youth to join the mainstream for the economic development of the Country. Rs 1,000 crore for higher education financing to help the poor and deserving students will increase the level of literacy in the country.
Considering that the roads and highways form the backbone for the economic development of the Country, this government has worked hard, due to which 85% of stalled road projects were put back on track. This budget has seen Rs 97,000 crore allocated to road sector including PMGSY. This would ensure to achieve the Target of 10,000 km of national highway and upgradation of 50,000 km of state highways in 2016/17. The total outlay for infrastructure Rs 2,21,246 crores which is an all time record.
Raising the ceiling of tax rebate for tax payers with up to Rs 5 lakh annual income from Rs.2000/- to Rs.5000/- and increase in the deduction of House rent from Rs.20,000/- to 60,000/- per year will provide relief to a large dedicated tax paying middle class tax payers. I personally thank the Hon’ble Finance Minister for the same.”