Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman unveiled the interim budget for 2024 in today’s parliamentary session. Commencing her address, she provided a comprehensive overview of the government’s achievements over the past decades. Emphasising the current imperative, Sitharaman underscored the pivotal focus on the welfare of Gareeb (the poor), Mahilayein (women), Yuva (youth), and Annadata (farmers) in India.

Furthermore, she underscored the significance of India’s resilience in the post-pandemic world, where global challenges such as food security pose formidable obstacles. Despite the worldwide struggles, India successfully navigated these issues and left an indelible mark on the front of food security.

Following the successful adoption of Nano Urea, the application of Nano DAP (Diammonium Phosphate) on various crops is set to undergo an expansive reach across all agro-climatic zones. The broader implementation of Nano DAP reflects a commitment to optimising crop nutrition and fostering sustainable agricultural practices in diverse environmental conditions.

“Building on the initiatives announced in 2022, the Atmanirbhar Oil Seeds Abhiyan is set to be implemented, aiming to achieve self-reliance in oilseeds such as mustard, groundnut, sesame, soybean, and sunflower. This comprehensive strategy encompasses research for High Yielding Varieties (HYV), the widespread adoption of modern farming techniques, establishing robust market linkages, efficient procurement processes, value-addition measures, and insurance mechanisms,” FM Nirmala Sitharaman asserted.

In alignment with the recently initiated Pradhan Mantri Surodaya Yojna, the Finance Minister reiterated the government’s commitment to providing 300 units of rooftop solar per month, with a targeted outreach to reach one crore households. Significantly, these rooftop solar panels will be offered free of cost, reflecting a proactive and sustainable approach towards fostering renewable energy adoption across the nation.

The Union Budget 2024 also highlighted that direct financial assistance will be provided to 11.8 crore farmers through the PM-KISAN scheme, aiming to alleviate financial burdens and enhance agricultural sustainability. Additionally, the PM Fasal Bima Yojana will extend crop insurance coverage to 4 crore farmers, offering them a crucial safety net against unforeseen challenges.

To streamline agricultural trade, the government plans to integrate 1,361 mandis under the eNAM platform, facilitating transactions and supporting a substantial trading volume amounting to Rs 3 lakh crore. Recognising the importance of post-harvest activities, a concerted effort will be made to encourage both private and public investment in this crucial phase of agricultural production.

Continuing her address, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the formulation of a comprehensive program on dairy development designed to provide extensive support to dairy farmers. Moreover, she underscored the government’s proactive measures in combating foot and mouth diseases among dairy cattle, highlighting the commitment to enhancing the overall health and productivity of the dairy sector.

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