New Delhi: In her budget speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the ‘annadata’ farmer was the ‘urja daata’. She said for our farmers to become power generators, ease of doing business and ease of living should extend to our farmers as well. (Also read: Blueprint For National Gas, Water Grids Would be Unveiled,’ Says Minister)

The Government aims to create 10,000 new Farmer Producer Companies (FPOs). With eye on increasing ease of doing business, there will be the emphasis on zero budget farming, she said. (Catch All Budget Stories Here)

Sitharaman said farmers were being trained already to help double their income. For private investment in agri infrastructure, the Government would work in tandem with the states to implement eNAM.

She said that as many as 80 livelihood incubators and 20 tech incubators would develop 75,000 entrepreneurs in the sector.

Extending her thought of ease of living for the rural population, Sitharaman said, “Rs.80,250 crore would be earmarked to upgrade 1.25 lakh km of rural roads under PMGSY over the next five years. 97% habitations now have road connectivity. 30k km PM rural road was built using green technology. Rs 80,000 cr provision for 1.25,000 km new rural roads.”

She said that the Central focus of all programmes was gaon, garib and kisan. Ticking items off her list, she said, “Electricity and LPG have been provided. By 2022, 75th year Independence Day, every single family, except the unwilling, will have electricity and clean cooking fuel.”

She added, “1.5 crore rural homes completed under PMAY phase I till now; 1.95 cr houses to be provided in phase 2 now By 2022, 1.95 crore households proposed under PM Awas Yojana to eligible beneficiaries.”

She added how completion of houses under PMAY took 314 days in 2017; now it takes just 114 days.