The India Budget places an importance on agriculture since most of the Indian population is dependent on agriculture. Budget continued the highest priority of rural development.
Highlights of Indian Interim Budget 2009 in agriculture and rural development are:
*Government has set the target for the agriculture credit flow for 2009-10 at Rs 3, 25,000 crore.
*Fertilizer subsidy to go to farmers directly which will be based on nutrients.
*Interest subvention scheme for short term crop loans up to Rs.3 lakh per farmer at the interest rate of 7 per cent per annum to be continued. Additional subvention of 1 per cent to be paid from this year, as incentive to those farmers who repay short term crop loans on schedule.
*Time given to the farmers having more than two hectares of land to pay 75 per cent of their over dues under Debt Waiver and Debt Relief Scheme extended from 30th June, 2009 to 31st December, 2009.
*Taskforce to be set up to examine the issue of debt taken by a large number of farmers in some regions of Maharashtra from private money lenders who were not covered by the loan waiver scheme .
*Additional allocation of Rs 1,000 crore for Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Program (AIBP).
*Allocation under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) stepped up by 30 per cent in B.E. 2009-10 over B.E. 2008-09.
*Central assistance for storm-water drainage project increased to Rs 500 crore from Rs 200 crore provided by the interim Budget
*Allocation under National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme increased by 144 per cent to Rs.39, 100 crore in B.E. 2009-10 over B.E. 2008-09.
*New scheme Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana (PMAGY) with an allocationof Rs.100 crore launched on pilot basis for integrated development of 1000 villages having population of scheduled castes above 50 per cent.