President Pranab Mukherjee said farmer is the solider of food security of our country, the government attaches great importance to the well-being of the farming community across country.
"Kisan is the sentinel of our food security. Annadaata Sukhibhava has been one of our fundamental civilizational values. My Government attaches enormous importance to the wellbeing of farmers. This will need value-added agriculture, market reform, use of technology and improving productivity in areas with untapped potential. The year 2015 has been designated as International Year of Soils," said President Mukherjee in his address to both houses of Parliament ahead of the Budget Session.
The President also said that a Soil Health Card Scheme has been launched in view of the critical role of soil for productivity and farm output. "Price stabilization fund with a corpus of Rs.500 crore has been set up for perishable commodities. To address the irrigation requirements of every village in an effective and sustainable manner, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana, is being launched. Extension programmes have been devised targeting resource-poor, small and marginal farmers, particularly focusing on organic farming and green house technology," he added.
He said the 'Rashtriya Gokul Mission' has been launched with the objective of conserving and developing indigenous cattle breeds. President Mukherjee further said Food Processing has immense potential for generating employment in rural areas, particularly for the landless poor, besides guaranteeing remunerative price for the farm-produce.
"Creating infrastructure in rural areas to minimize supply chain losses is a priority. A special fund of Rs. 2000 crore to provide affordable credit to the units in 72 notified food parks has been made operational. Two Mega Food Parks, at Tumkur and Fazilka, each to provide direct/indirect employment to 30,000 people have been commissioned in the last six months," he added. President Mukherjee said the government attaches paramount importance to safeguard the interest of farmers and families affected by land acquisition.
"My Government attaches paramount importance to safeguard the interest of farmers and families affected by land acquisition. While taking utmost care to protect the interest of farmers, including their compensation entitlements, the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition," President Mukherjee said.
"Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act has been suitably refined to minimize certain procedural difficulties in acquisition of land inevitably required for critical public projects of infrastructure and for creation of basic amenities like rural housing, schools and hospitals, particularly in remote areas," he added. The Budget Session, which contains 44 items of financial, legislative and non-legislative business, began today with President Mukherjee's address.
The first part of the Budget Session will continue till March 20 while the second part will commence after a month-long break from April 20 and conclude on May 8. The Rail Budget will be presented on February 26, Economic Survey on February 27 and General Budget on February 28.