Union Budget: Sitharaman says govt will invest widely in agri infrastructure

Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Budget, Pradhan Mantari Awas Yojna, Finance Minister
Last year, the government had raised the MSP by ₹200 per quintal for both the varieties. But this year, it has hiked the price by only ₹65 per quintal. File Photo/PTI

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said the government will invest widely in agriculture infrastructure and support private entrepreneurship for value addition in farm sector.

Presenting the Union Budget for 2019-20, Sitharaman said the government proposes Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana to address critical infrastructure gap in fisheries sector.

As much as 1,25,000 km of roads will be upgraded under Pradhan Gram Sadak Yojana under Phase III at an estimated cost of ₹80,250 crore, the finance minister added.

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In the first Budget of the Modi government in its second term, she also said that 30,000 km roads were constructed under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna using green material, including plastic waste. All weather road connectivity was provided to 97 per cent of habitation, she added.

The government also proposes to build 1.95 crore houses under Pradhan Mantari Awas Yojna (Rural), Sitharaman said, adding 100 new clusters will be set up in 2019-20 to enable 50,000 artisans to come into economic value chain.

Stressing that the government keeps villages, poor and farmers at centre stage in every programme, she said every single rural family, except those unwilling to take connection, will have electricity and LPG connection by 2022. Free LPG scheme and electricity connection have transformed rural India, Sitharaman said.

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She also said that the time taken to complete construction of houses under PMAY was cut to 114 days from 314 days in 2015-16, due to the use of DBT platform technology.