Agriculture sector representatives submit Budget wish list to finance minister -Madhvi Sally
-The Economic Times
The government must extend benefits of the PM Kisan scheme to landless farmers and farm workers, said Ajay Vir Jakhar, chairman of the Bharat Krishak Samaj.
Promote agri- startups particularly in rural regions, expand micro-irrigation, treat solar energy as third crop to augment income of farmers and enact labour reforms to push creation of off-farm jobs, were few of the suggestion which representatives of the agricultural and rural development sectors submitted to the Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman to boost investment in agricultural sector and enhance market access to farmers.
Incentive and popularize usage of organic manure for improving carbon content in soil, promote aqua –culture, dairy development in eastern states, reduce the good and service tax (GST) on branded food produce, incentive agro processing units in the border districts and enhance investments in research and development in agriculture centre, were the other suggestions.
The government must extend benefits of the PM Kisan scheme to landless farmers and farm workers, said Ajay Vir Jakhar, chairman of the Bharat Krishak Samaj, a farmers’ organization who was part of the pre-budget consultations.
“I suggested that we fill all 50% vacancies in sanctioned posts in agriculture research institutions and state agriculture extension system. Also the centre-state funding ratio for centrally sponsored schemes such as Agricultural Technology Management Agency and Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana – Raftaar (Remunerative Approaches for the Agriculture and Allied Sector Development) should be 90:10. The investment for micro-irrigation and solar pumps should be tripled and GST on processed foods to be reduced to 5%. Also 6,000 smart census towns should be developed instead of smart cities,”he said.
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