Farm sector doing better under NDA, says Jaitley

His clarification came a few days after tens of thousands of farmers marched to Delhi seeking a special session of Parliament to address the agrarian crisis.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday sought 20 more years to develop rural India and make it at par with its cities even as he provided data to prove farm sector was doing better under the NDA government than that of the UPA.

His clarification came a few days after tens of thousands of farmers marched to Delhi seeking a special session of Parliament to address the agrarian crisis.

“Before Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi assumed office, 3.8 lakh km of regular roads existed in the first 67 years after India’s independence. As of November 2018, this figure has already touched 5.7 lakh km of roads. In the past four-and-a-half years, close to 1.9 lakh km of roads have been built in India’s rural areas. The investment in rural roads has increased threefold. Very soon we will be close to the destination of connecting every village with a pucca (concrete) road,” Jaitley said in his Facebook blog.

Jaitley said of 17.47 crore rural households in India, only about 70% had been electrified in the first 67 years of independence. But now, 16.53 crore households (95%) had already been electrified. He said over the next few weeks rural electrification programme would be completed.

He said during the UPA’s final year, about 10 lakh houses were built in a year for the poor in the rural areas but the figure has increased four-and-a-half times and now about 45 lakh houses were being constructed.

On the farm sector income, he said to help the poorest, under the Rural Job Employment Scheme this year, close to Rs 60,000 crore to be spent on MGNREGA.

“This is almost twice the amount spent by the UPA government. For the poorest including rural poor, Rs 1.6 lakh crore has been set aside for food subsidy. The MSP has already been increased on several specified products to ensure cost plus 50%. The amount sanctioned for interest subvention has been doubled. Last year (2017-18) a phenomenal amount of Rs 3,96,831 crore was spent on the poor and rural areas. This year,  the expenditure is likely to be around Rs 4,38,741 crore. UPA had spent Rs 2,41,602 crore in its last year,” he said.

The comparison came close on the heels of a back series GDP data painted a better picture of NDA years than UPA's.

“If this level of investment with its annual increase is continued in the rural areas for at least the next two decades, we will be close to providing a quality of life and infrastructure in rural areas which will be more urban like,” Jaitley said.
 

 

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Farm sector doing better under NDA, says Jaitley

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