President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday said the government was working toward spending ₹25 trillion to increase farm productivity, and another ₹90,000 crore annually to support farmers’ income. In his address to the joint session of Parliament, the President indicated that fixing problems in the rural economy and giving relief to farmers was the top priority of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government in its second term.
Kovind’s speech, which is seen as a statement of the priorities of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government that returned to office last month with a landslide victory, indicated that the centre’s policy and administrative efforts will focus on supporting the rural economy, resolving the water crisis and empowering the common man.
“Only on a strong rural sector, can a robust national economy stand. The central government is working towards that. ₹25 trillion will be invested to improve agriculture productivity. ₹900 billion will be spent annually on PM-Kisan scheme," the President said in his speech, made in Hindi. The minimum income support scheme was first announced in the interim budget in February, which had allocated ₹75,000 crore for a section of farmers for FY20. However, at the first cabinet meeting of the NDA government’s second term the scheme was extended to all 145 million farmers, besides announcing an over ₹10,000 crore pension scheme for 50 million farmers.
The President said efforts to resolve the water crisis have to match the rigour seen in the case of the cleanliness drive launched by the Modi government in its previous term—the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
Kovind said the thumping majority that the NDA received was the mandate given by the people for accelerated development. He emphasized on creating opportunities for the youth and setting up infrastructure for the 21st century.