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The Finance Minister’s annual budget speech has emerged as the prism through which one can discern the policy drift or direction of the government of the day. As the speech is also an ideal platform for political posturing, the discerning eye has to segregate wheat from the chaff of budgetary announcements.
Do budget speeches, right from the Independence, reflect any strategy for agricultural development? Do they constitute changing and random initiatives announced with an eye to vote bank? Does the political rhetoric about farmers get transmitted to the ground as inclusive, robust growth of entire farming community? Do the specific measures to mitigate agrarian crisis have the desired impact in the long run? How often is the old wine passed off as new wine to humble farmers?
The answer to such questions would help the farming community take budget speeches in the right perspective. It would be worthwhile to analyze the agricultural content of budget speeches right from the first one, for 1947-48, to the latest one for 2016-17.

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