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Union Budget 2008-09  »   Story
Farmers demand 'Kisan Budget'
Press Trust of India
New Delhi, February 28, 2008
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A farmers' delegation, which met Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar on Wednesday, demanded a separate 'Kisan Budget' for the farm sector as they believe their issues are not properly addressed in the General Budget.

"You must present a separate 'Kisan Budget' similar to the rail budget," the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) delegation, led by Mahendra Singh Tikait, told Pawar.

During the meeting, the representatives raised several demands, including waiver of farm loan and revision in the mechanism adopted to fix the minimum support price of farm products.

Pawar assured the delegation that he would personally look into the suggestions made by BKU in the memorandum and invited them for a detailed discussion on March 4, 2008.

On waiver of loans to farmers, the minister indicated that some steps would be taken in the budget.

"Come and meet me after the budget. Then I will be able to answer your demand. Something is going on," Pawar said.

BKU Secretary Yudhbir Singh urged Pawar to determine the farmers' wages after considering them as skilled workers.

"The CACP takes into account 144 working days for farmers whereas they work for 365 days in a year," Singh argued.

Regarding BKU's demand for increasing the wheat MSP to Rs 1,400 a quintal, Pawar said farmers are also consumers and they will not be able to afford such hike as every farmer does not grow all commodities.

The minister also reiterated the government's commitment to protect the farmers' interest in WTO negotiations.

The BKU delegation pointed out that mills were holding back payments to the sugarcane growers on the grounds that sugar prices have slumped in the international markets.

The farmers also demanded uniform power rate for agriculture sector as the MSP for each product is same all over the country. However, Pawar said the cost of production of electricity varies from state to state. The BKU delegation stressed the need to make agricultural products remunerative so that farmers do not need any credit.

It also demanded that frost should be treated as natural calamity, like drought and floods, for insurance coverage. The farmers cited the recent damage to mustard and chana crops in Rajasthan and Haryana due to frost.

Sector Analysis
Negotiating a rough patch
Demand growth is expected to be buoyant driven by new vehicle launches, likely softening of interest rates and continued growth on the export front.
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Railway Budget
Lalu presents people's budget, slashes fares
The minister announced launch of several new trains and reduction in fares across all classes amid chaos by Opposition in Parliament.
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A budget for Bharat
Buoyant tax revenues a lower fiscal deficit and an economy that's in top gear permit the FM to pump big money into agriculture and the social sector. Those efforts might help at the hustings, too.
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Economic Survey
'Expand telecom infrastructure, R&D'
"With rapid growth of telecom network, there is a need to further expand the infrastructure and research and development," the survey said.
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Surfers' comments
This is a very good budget, especially for agriculture and education. P Chidambaram is the best.
- By Saravanan P (
If you can waive Rs 50,000 crore for farmers what about the tax on housing loan interest? That should also have been reduced.
- Chandra Shekar V (
Please tax the street hawkers and give relief to the salaried persons.
- Rajaram (
This is the worst budget the finance minister has ever presented. The backbone of the country's economy is the transport but he completely missed it out.
- Jayakaanthan A (
The budget is sure to augment growth and will also lessen the volatility of the stock markets.
- Sidharth Paul (
Overall, the budget is satisfactory but the health sector should have been given greater importance.
- Ankit Chaudhary (
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Business Today's Budget edition
Editorial: Predictably populist budget
Special: Something for everyone...
Column: All for the common man
Exclusive interview with the FM
Maintaining the growth story
The Finance Minister defends Budget 2008 and the Rs 60,000 crore loan waiver doled out to farmers in an exclusive interview to Business Today's Sanjoy Narayan and R Sridharan.
"Total reduction of excise duties by 2% will give a welcome boost to the manufacturing sector. Also, the exemption of specified parts of set-top boxes from customs duties is commendable".
- Rakesh Bharti Mittal, Vice Chairman, Bharti Enterprises
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Beginner’s guide to budget
Union Budget is an estimate of the Government of India's revenue and expenditure for the end of a particular fiscal year, which usually runs from April 1 to March 31. Read on...
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