Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal while welcoming the Union Budget 2018-19, tabled by finance minister Arun Jaitley, termed it as people-centric, farmer-centric, development-centric and welfare-centric. He added that the budget will address the needs of all sections of the society.
In a statement released on Thursday, Sonowal said that the budget has all the elements to strengthen agriculture, rural development, health, education, employment, MSME and infrastructure sectors.
Raising of institutional farm credit to 11 lakh crore and enhancing the Minimum Support Price of all unannounced kharif crops to one and a half times of their production cost would really augur well to bolster agriculture production and of course the lot of the farmers.
Moreover, as a tool to protect the interests of 86 per cent small and marginal farmers, the decision to develop and upgrade 22,000 rural haats in to Gramin Agricultural Markets will definitely elevate the socio-economic conditions of the farmers. Further, what comes as a respite to the consumers also, the budget provision of launching ‘Operation Greens’ to address price fluctuations in potato, tomato and onion is noteworthy, Sonowal added.
Further, announcement of two new funds of Rs 10,000 crore for fisheries and animal husbandry and Rs 1290 crore re-structured National Bamboo Mission will bring in paradigm shift in these sectors, Sonowal said.
The leap of loans to Women Self-Help Groups from Rs 42,500 to Rs 75,000 crore will also go down well towards women empowerment. To provide succour to lower and middle class group in providing LPG connections, electricity and toilets is one of the another snapshots of this year’s budget.
Moreover, outlay on health, education and social protection will be 1.38 lakh crore and setting up of Ekalavya Residential School in each tribal block by 2022 and welfare fund for SCs is yet another notable announcement of the budge, Sonowal said.