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Budget 2021-22: Reactions from Agri Experts & Industrialists

Pronami Chetia
Pronami Chetia

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has presented the Budget 2021 in Parliament yesterday. This ninth budget under the Modi government has special significance it was presented amid the prolonged farmer's protest and corona virus pandemic.

In her Union Budget 2021-22 which is divided into six pillars has come up with many new schemes and reforms. Moreover, Sitharaman Announces Rs 35,000 cr on Covid-19 Vaccine, Rs 3.05 lakh crore outlay for power sector, Rs 3,768 crore for Census and affordable Housing Schemes for all. 

Amid the farmer’s protest, it has been expected that budget 2021-22 might end the disappointment of farmers and bring back their smile.  However, it didn’t happen in reality.

Moreover, Union Budget 2021 has invoked a strong reaction from the Agri and Fertilizer Industries. While few termed it as ‘progressive and impactful’, few asserted that the Union Budget was a “let down like never before”.

Let’s know the reactions of Budget 2021-22 from Agri-Experts and prominent Agri Industrialists.

Budget 2021-22 Reactions:

"The focus of the budget this year was on strengthening the healthcare system of India, which stemmed as a critical lesson of the pandemic. However, on the industry side, we do not have much for the agrochemical sector. The only upside is that the proposed increase of agriculture credit is likely to increase the purchasing power of the farmers, which will, in turn, become a factor of growth for the agrochemical sector. The MSMEs may benefit from the increase in customs duty and withdrawal of exemption on certain imports. But largely, this budget does not have much for us", said Mr. Pradip Dave, President, PMFAI.

Add to support Atmanirbhar,  PMFAI suggested an increase in customs duty on import 10 to 30 % on import of ready-made pesticides formulation government has failed to protect & support Indian Pesticides industries. PMFAI appel to reduce GST  to 5 % from 18 to help farmers also ignored, he further added. 

On the other hand, Mr. Randhir Chauhan, Managing Director, Netafim India and Senior Vice President, Netafim Ltd said,

“The Union Budget clearly highlights the Government’s continued focus to modernize the Agri sector. We welcome the announcement of additional allocation of Rs. 5,000 cr to the Micro Irrigation Fund (MIF) under NABARD which now totals Rs. 10,000 cr. This is in line with the Government’s vision of ‘per drop more crop’, and will help move closer to the target of micro irrigation coverage across 1 crore ha in five years, across the country. In order to improve the fund utilization, we request policymakers to remove the condition of disbursement (which is only against additional subsidy) and consider to make it available for the mandatory state share as well. The additional fund could keep the momentum up in states like Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Karnataka which are already in favour of the scheme, help restart in states like Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and bring newer states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, etc. under its gamut."

On the other hand, Mr. Sanjiv Lal – MD & CEO, Rallis India  has termed it as progressive and impactful.

“The Union Budget presented is progressive and balanced with a long term impact in mind. The focus is not just to provide short term relief but empowers the industry to leverage the rising domestic and international demand. The Indian Economy has shown tremendous resilience in showing a sharp recovery from the Covid-19 hit economy. This recovery is led by continued normalization in economic activities and further strengthening it with the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines. 

The demand recovery is steadily gaining momentum and will further improve the investment cycle. The economic reforms announced today provide a significant impetus to the Agriculture sector. Government is committed to the welfare of farmers which is evident from the enhanced agri credit target to Rs 16.5 lakh crore. Additional allocations for rural infrastructure & irrigation, development of fishing harbours, micro irrigation corpus doubled to Rs 10,000 cr will surely boost the sector. 

The governments’ proposal to expand the Green scheme to 22 perishable vegetable products will significantly help the farming community. The Agri sector will further benefit from the massive infrastructure development proposed in the union budget today. The proposed development of economic corridors, NIP projects worth 1 lakh crore, privatization of airports in tier 2 and 3 towns and cities,  PPP mode for ports and further boosting the National Rail plan will support the proposed increase in rural infrastructure fund to develop the rural India which will benefit the farming community in the years to come.

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