Cess of development: the government proposes a 10% increase in the agricultural loan target for fiscal year 22; announces the end of agri infra development

Affirming that the government is committed to the welfare of farmers, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday proposed a 10 percent increase in the target for disbursing agricultural loans to Rs 16.5 lakh crore in the budget , and introduced an agri-infra and development cease of up to 100 percent to create post-harvest infrastructure to improve farmers’ incomes.

The minister also proposed a higher allocation for the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund and Micro-Irrigation Fund, and extended the Agricultural Infrastructure Fund to APMCs to increase infrastructure facilities.

The government has also proposed substantial investments for the development of fishing ports, fish landing centers and the promotion of seaweed cultivation.

Introducing the first digital budget to parliament, Sitharaman said the agriculture proposal would further strengthen “the nation’s Sankalp first, doubling farmers’ incomes, strong infrastructure…”, among others.

To provide adequate credit to our farmers, the Minister said: “I have increased the agricultural credit target to Rs 16.5 lakh crores in fiscal year 22. We will focus on increasing the flow of credit towards livestock, dairy products and fishing ”.

The agricultural credit target set for the next fiscal year is however higher than the crore of Rs 15 lakh set for the current fiscal year.

Emphasizing the need to improve agricultural infrastructure to ensure higher remuneration for farmers, the Minister of Finance proposed a Cess for Agricultural Infrastructure and Development (AIDC) in the range of 2.5 to 100 percent on some products.

“There is an immediate need to improve agricultural infrastructure so that we produce more, while conserving and efficiently transforming agricultural production. This will ensure better remuneration for our farmers,” she said.

However, while enforcing this tax, the government was careful not to place additional burdens on consumers on most items, she noted.

Last year, the government announced the Rs 1 lakh crore Agricultural Infrastructure Fund to finance projects at subsidized rates for post-harvest infrastructure facilities.

In addition to the new cess, the minister said that the Agricultural Infrastructure Fund will be made available to Agricultural Commodity Marketing Committees (APMCs) to increase their infrastructure facilities.

The Minister also proposed to increase the allocation to the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund from Rs 30,000 crore to Rs 40,000 crore and to double the micro-irrigation fund corpus from the 5,000 crore of Current rs created by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).

To stimulate added value in agriculture and related products and their exports, the Minister of Finance said that the scope of the “Operation Green Scheme” which is currently applicable to tomatoes, onions and apples of land, will be expanded to include 22 perishable items.

On the National Agriculture Electronic Market (eNAM), she said that around 1.68 crore of farmers are registered and that Rs 1.14 crore lakh of commercial value has been made through the electronic platform.

“Given the transparency and competitiveness that e-NAM has brought to the agricultural market, 1,000 additional mandis will be integrated into e-NAM,” she said.

To boost the fishing sector, the Minister proposed substantial investments in the development of modern fishing ports and fish landing centers.

To begin with, five major fishing ports – Kochi, Chennai, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Petuaghat – will be developed as hubs of economic activity. We will also develop inland fishing ports and fish landing centers along the banks of rivers and streams, she said.

Stating that seaweed cultivation is an emerging sector with the potential to transform the lives of coastal communities, the minister said it will provide large-scale jobs and additional income.

“To promote the cultivation of algae, I propose the creation of a multipurpose seaweed park in Tamil Nadu,” she added.

Regarding public procurement of cereals, the Minister of Finance said: “The Minimum Support Price (MSP) regime has undergone a radical change to ensure a price that is at least 1.5 times the cost of production for all products. “.

Purchases also continued to increase at a sustained pace. This has resulted in a substantial increase in payments to farmers, she added.

Government payment to farmers for the purchase of wheat, rice, pulses and cotton has increased significantly since 2013-14, Sitharaman said.

When the minister spoke about MSP procurement, the opposition shouted slogans saying the government should repeal new farm laws, which some farmers have been protesting at the Delhi borders for more than two months now.

Sharing further the supply of the MSP, the minister said the government payment for the purchase of wheat rose to Rs 62,802 crore in 2019-20 and even better in 2020-2021 from the level of 33,874 crore. of Rs in 2013-14. About 43.36 lakhs of wheat farmers benefited from the MSP payment in 2020-2021 compared to 35.57 lakhs last year.

Likewise, the MSP payment on the purchase of rice increased to Rs 1,41930 crore in 2019-2020 and to Rs 1,72,752 crore estimated in 2020-2021 against Rs 63,928 crore in 2013-14.

Payment to farmers for the purchase of pulses increased to Rs 10,530 crore in 2020-21, more than 40 times higher than Rs 236 crore in 2013-14, while payment to cotton growers increased at Rs 25,974 crore until January 27 this year from Rs 90 crore in 2013-14.

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