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VISIONARY BUDGET TO BOOST AGRICULTURE & ALLIED SECTORS IN PUNJAB: GURMEET SINGH KHUDIAN


Chandigarh: Punjab Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Gurmeet Singh Khudian hailed the Budget 2024-25, presented by Finance Minister Advocate Harpal Singh Cheema in Punjab Vidhan Sabha today, and termed it as a visionary and futuristic while expressing confidence that it will give further impetus to the agriculture and allied sectors.

Chief Minister S. Bhagwant Singh Mann led Punjab Government has earmarked Rs 13,784 crore for the agriculture and allied sectors in the Budget, which is 12.74% hike as compared to last year (Rs. 12027.70-CR). To continue free power for agriculture tube-wells in FY 2024-25, Rs 9,330 crore has been allocated towards power subsidy, said the Agriculture Minister.

Reiterating its commitment towards welfare of “Annadatas” of the state, S. Khudian said that Punjab government also proposed an allocation of Rs 575 crore for various Crop Diversification Schemes to encourage farmers to shun two crop cycle for improving agriculture, soil health and arrest dropping groundwater table.

S. Khudian said that an MOU has been inked with SIDBI for setting up projects of Rs 250 crore across the state to augment food processing sector in the state with an aim of diversification and providing better returns to farmers. These projects are being set up for Individual Quick Freezing for Fruits & Vegetables Processing Unit, Center for Millets, Pulses, Cereals and Spices Processing, Centre for Chilly Processing Unit, Center for Automated Beverage, Culinary Spreads Filling and Packing Unit, Integrated Production Center for Tomato Focused Fruits & Vegetables. Rs 50 crore has also been provided to PAGREXCO for initiating projects in the current year.

In the current year, a special "Mission Unnat Kisan" has also been launched to provide timely technical information to the farmers for proper cultivation of cotton, besides, providing 33% subsidy on cotton seeds to approx. 87,000 farmers.

Meanwhile, the state Government has appointed 326 Veterinary Officers and 535 Veterinary Inspectors during FY 2022-23 and FY 2023-24 to further strengthen and provide specialised veterinary services at the ground level. A new fish seed farm has been established at village Killian Wali in Fazilka. An area of 3,233 acres has been brought under fish culture. A river ranching programme has been initiated under which 3 lakh fish seeds have been stocked in river bodies, he added.

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