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Monday, April 12, 2021

Haryana Budget 2021: Amid farmers’ protest and Covid-19, focus on agriculture and health

Speaking in the Legislative Assembly, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said his government was "indebted to its farmers, whose toil and hard work has made Haryana the food bowl of the country."

Written by Varinder Bhatia | Chandigarh |
Updated: March 12, 2021 8:21:07 pm
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. (Express Photo: Jasbir Malhi)

Amid the farmers’ protests and the Covid-19 pandemic, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Friday proposed a state budget of Rs 1,55,645 crore with a focus on the agriculture and health sectors. Speaking in the Legislative Assembly, Khattar said his government was “indebted to its farmers, whose toil and hard work has made Haryana the food bowl of the country.” He proposed a V-shaped economic recovery for the state.

Khattar said his government was committed to doubling farmers’ income and ensuring their well-being. He announced a slew of schemes to aid soil health and crop choices, crop residue management, crop diversification, zero budget farming, organic and natural farming, and procurement.

He also launched the Mukhyamantri Antyodya Parivar Utthan Abhiyan for the poorest one lakh families in Haryana. This umbrella scheme which consists of all the government’s welfare programmes, will give each family a tailored package of measures including education, skill development, wage employment, self employment and job creation among others to ensure their economic upliftment so as to reach a minimum economic threshold of Rs 1.80 lakh per annum. The scheme is created on the principle of Antyodya – the economic upliftment of the poorest, Khattar said.

Haryana Budget 2021 Highlights:

* Old Age Samman allowance raised to Rs. 2,500 per month from April 1. The allowances under the other scheme shall also be proportionately increased

* Mukhyamantri Vivah Shagun Yojana is simplified for beneficiaries to get the benefit of this scheme before marriage or on the wedding day itself

* An amount of Rs 22,000 will now be provided to Scheduled Caste individuals to meet the expenditure for defending their cases related to property, agriculture land, rent and reservation, etc., in the courts under the Legal Aid Scheme. This was previously Rs. 11,000

* The proposal to open 4,000 playway schools will not only emphasize pre-school education but also strengthen the health, nutritional needs of children and augur overall development of a child in terms of inculcating moral values

In the first phase, 1,135 Anganwadi centres running from school premises or departmental buildings will be upgraded into play schools and made operational from March, 2021. In the second phase, 2865 Anganwadi Centres will be upgraded into play schools in 2021-22.

* 500 crèches will be made operational in two phases. In the first phase 182 crèches were sanctioned and 30 crèches already have been made operational with modern facilities in 2020-21. Remaining crèches will be started in 2021-22 by upgrading existing Anganwadi centres after assessing the footfall of working women in different districts

* Govt announces a special campaign – “Har Khet Swasth Khet” – to focus on soil health and facilitating cropping choices based on soil quality. This is an effort to provide an end to end solution to farming – from soil health, crop choices, inputs, processing and marketing. Farmers are being encouraged to sow crops based on the soil health. * The programme for collection and testing of soil samples of every acre will be launched vigorously from April 2021 covering the whole state in 3-4 years

* To increase awareness among the farmers as well as science students regarding importance of soil health management, an initiative has been taken by the government to impart training to science students for testing soils and water samples to provide these services to farmers as entrepreneurs

* A new portal will be established for participation of farmers in the scheme for treatment of alkaline and saline soil. The Government proposes to target 1 lakh acres of land for reclamation in 2021-22.

* Govt will form 1000 Farmer Produce Organizations by March 2022. To promote entrepreneurship, a Crop Cluster Development Programme is under implementation.

* The State Government has notified a revamped Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) by making the scheme optional for all farmers from Kharif 2020

* A comprehensive management plan has been prepared for the management of crop residue on site and at other locations. Steps have been initiated to install 100 compressed bio-gas and bio-mass plants for utilization of crop residue in association with the Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas

* The government will provide subsidy of Rs. 7000 per acre as an incentive to farmers for diversification from paddy to alternate crops. The target is to reduce area under paddy cultivation by 2 lakh acres during 2021-22

* Government to promote zero budget farming and organic/natural farming. It is targeted to cover an area of one lakh acres of cropped area under this initiative in the coming three years

* Government to launch a new scheme, Kisan Mitra Yojana, to facilitate farmers through multiple services like cash withdrawal, cash deposit, balance enquiry, pin change, new pin generation, mini statement, cheque book request, Aadhaar number updation, loan request, mobile number updation and registration of problems and feedback etc. The scheme envisages installing 1000 farmer’s ATMs in partnership with banks

* Government to procure about 81.00 LMT of wheat and 7 LMT of mustard in Rabi season 2021 and about 60 LMT of paddy and 7 LMT of Bajra during 2021-22

* Government to create additional storage capacity for agriculture produce. We have decided to add over 6.60 lakh MT storage capacity this year, Khattar said

* Government to establish the India International Horticulture Market (IHM) at Ganaur, Sonepat district in an area of 545 acre. The total cost of the project is Rs. 2400 crore out of which Rs. 1600 crore will be arranged from the NABARD under RIDF/NIDA and the balance Rs. 800 crore will be provided by the state government

* Haryana Agro Industries Corporation Ltd. to set up 2000 retail stores/outlets across the 22 districts to set up a network for non-perishable packaged consumer goods etc. including Vita products within the State

* Haryana is one of the 18 states that has implemented e-NAM in 81 APMCs. Remaining 32 Mandis will be integrated with e-NAM soon. In order to improve the efficiency of market yards in handling agricultural produce and reduce the post harvest losses, facilities such as crop dryers, silo storages, grading, loading/unloading, weighing, stitching, sorting and packaging are being planned in all the major Mandis of the State. Closed Circuit TV cameras are being installed in all warehouses of Haryana in a phased manner

* A special drive is being conducted to provide ‘Pashudhan Kisan Credit Cards’ to livestock farmers by different banks in the state

* Government has decided to expand the ‘Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhayay Samuhik Pashudhan Beema Yojana’ for the livestock and has decided to go in for livestock insurance

* Government will establish three bio safety Level-II laboratories with Rapid and RT-PCR diagnostics of Avian Influenza and other poultry diseases in Hisar, Sonepat and Panchkula to provide better diagnostic services in the state

* Government will ensure computerization of all 1020 government veterinary hospitals and connect them with IT network by providing all necessary infrastructure linked with Fiber to the Home (FTTH) village level fiber net

* Rs. 50 crore has been allocated to strengthen gaushalas

* With an objective to double the income of fish farmers, the government will develop an additional 1090 hectares saline affected area and 5000 hectares fresh water area under ‘Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana Scheme’ (PMMSY) Scheme during 2021-22 to 2024-25

* Under the ‘Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana Scheme’ (PMMSY), ten small fish feed mill plant units would be established during 2021-22 to 2024-25

* There is a proposal to establish a new milk plant in southern Haryana which will cover the NCR region with a packaging capacity of three lakh litre per day extendable to five lakh litre per day.

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