As the election season looms, Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led central government plans to increase the amount of cash support offered to farmers by a third. This move is presumably done to shore up support from the significant voter block that farmers and their families represent.
According to sources that have asked to remain anonymous, there have been several discussions within the government where they were weighing their options regarding increasing the amount of direct cash transfer from ₹6000 to ₹8000.
This could, however, add a strain of ₹200 billion over the already budgeted Rs 600 billion for the program for the period ending in March 2024. This is a major concern for the government as they mull over the decision in the critical election year.
Given the issues over the past few years, securing a significant portion of the farmers’ votes from across the country would be a critical point for the Modi government. Even though PM Modi retains a staggering 55% popularity rate among voters, he will need significant support from the farmers’ communities to convert into Lok Sabha seats.
This also becomes more important given that the government has recently curbed the export of rice, severely limiting rice farmers’ income potential. So, placating them has become a priority for the government.
While a final decision has yet to be taken, it will be interesting to know what the government eventually brings to the farmers and if it will help them secure their votes.