Kolkata: Criticising the recent budget announcements of the Narendra Modi government, former minister and BJP leader Yashwant Sinha on Tuesday said currently there is distress in rural India with farmers’ income declining by 1.38 per cent in the last four years.
“There is tremendous rural distress and it is not merely because agricultural growth rate has declined. The distress is because the farmer is actually getting one third or 50 per cent of the price of his produce when compared to minimum support price,” he said in an event organised by Calcutta Chamber of Commerce.
Citing a study, he said that the agricultural growth rate during the last four years of the present Narendra Modi government was 1.9 per cent annually compared to 3.8 per cent in the first four years of UPA government.
Sinha said agriculture value added has also declined.
“In the last four years, farmers’ income has declined by 1.38 per cent. Instead of increasing their income, it has gone down. So, when we are talking about doubling it by 2022, I would say the last four years have been lost. We are already in 2018, what shall be done in the next four years?”
He also said the budget paper is a “sacred document” and every proposal in the budget must be backed by financial provision and otherwise, it will become election manifesto.
“What is the difference of election manifesto and budget document? In a election manifesto, you make promises without having mentioned the cost and where from the money is going to come. In the budget, you can’t do that,” he said, adding there is no token financial provision for ensuring higher farmers’ income.