Budget 2021

Budget shows Govt priority on post-harvest infrastructure

Our Bureau Ahmedabad | Updated on February 02, 2021

Companies welcome AIF to APMCs as an opportunity to strengthen themselves

The Budget laid down clear direction of Government’s strategic priority to focus on building post-harvest infrastructure in the agriculture value-chain.

National Bulk Handling Corporation Ltd (NBHC) sees the budget initiatives to help build long term competitiveness for the industry and short term boost to employment and consumption impacted by Covid-19.

Ramesh Doraiswami, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, NBHC, said, “We are encouraged to see the strategic priority of the Government of India in building post-harvest agriculture infrastructure. We hope that the funds collected by the government under the proposed Agriculture Infrastructure & Development Cess (AIDC) will be spent on supporting the creation of not only good quality infrastructure but also encourage scientific warehousing & quality management practices for agricultural commodities.”

“The Government should encourage the creation of private electronic platforms on the lines of e-Nam by professional warehouse service providers with robust operational competences for better output market access to farmers in India,” he added.

Integrated post-harvest service agtech start-up Arya welcomed the Budget’s focus on Agri and Rural Infra through enhancement of the Rural Infrastructure scheme. “The extension of AIF to APMCs is a step in the right direction and gives them an opportunity to strengthen themselves to attract farmers and new private buyers. We also welcome the 1-year extension on tax holiday for start-ups. We, however, had expected more steps to facilitate liquidity for Agri NBFCs and on GST relief on agri farm level warehousing,” shared Prasanna Rao, CEO and Co-Founder, Arya.

Integrating mandis with eNAM

KC Ravi, Chief Sustainability Officer, Syngenta India Ltd, termed the Budget embedded in the spirit of improving agri resource efficiency, rejuvenating ecosystems and revitalising farm and rural economy. “The integration of 1,000 more mandis with e-NAM is another great step as farmers need focal points to display produce to outside buyers, a point where consolidation of produce can occur. Syngenta has been building and modernizing vegetable mandis in remote corners of India since 2014 to boost economic and social linkages in rural areas through its Inculcating Cleanliness Learning Education Awareness and new habits (I CLEAN) CSR initiative and supporting government’s Haats to Graams initiative.”

He also pointed out that a further boost to the agriculture sector could have been given through GST reduction on agro chemicals from existing 18% to a lower rate which is in line with other agriculture inputs and 200% weighted deductions on R&D expenses by agro chemical companies. “This is especially important since the agro chemical sector has been identified as the champion sector and efforts are underway to make India a manufacturing hub.”

Ajay Shriram, Chairman & Sr Managing Director, DCM Shriram Ltd, commented, “The acceptance of a fiscal deficit of 9.5% and giving a target of bringing it down to 4.5% in 5 years signals the government’s stance to support a recovery after the pandemic. Focus on Capital Expenditure across the board is a positive sign which will stimulate growth by creating demand, jobs and incomes. We need more focus on ease of doing business going forward also.”

Published on February 01, 2021

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