Swadeshi Jagran Manch welcomes the Union Budget 2018-19, for its focus on the rural economy, employment and welfare of poor. Swadeshi Jagran Manch has been demanding for long that the farmers be given minimum support price (MSP) not less than cost plus 50 per cent, to make the agricultural activities remunerative for the farmers. By announcing the government’s intent to offer the same to the farmers is a welcome step, which would help improving the economic condition of the farmers and also the food security of the nation. At the same time the announcement to make Kisan Credit Card available to people engaged in fishing, animal husbandry etc. would help generate non-farm activities in the rural areas, which is a welcome step.
At the same time extending the government’s contribution to Employees Provident Fund (EPF) to additional employees of all sectors is step, expected to encourage employment and also the regular employment in industries, especially small scale industries. Apart from this, encouragement given to MSME, with regard to finance and other measures is also a welcome move.
It is heartening to note that government has announced the health protection scheme with a coverage of 10 crore households, that is, 50 crore people, offering up to Rs. 5 lakh for illness, may prove to be a big relief to the poor masses, and save them from further pauperization. However Swadeshi Jagran Manch would like to caution the government that while implementing this scheme, foreign insurance companies should not be engaged, so that valuable resources of the country are retained in India only.