Union Budget 2023: Agritech sector demands GST, mandi tax abolition
The Agritech sector is urging the Union Finance Minister to abolish the GST and mandi tax on agricultural products purchased from Farmers’ Producer Organizations (FPOs). They also want the Union Finance Minister to come up with schemes or incentives to help farmers adopt new crops and technologies.
Navneet Ravikar, chairman and managing director of Leads Connect Services, said, ‘Besides getting rid of the GST or mandi tax on agricultural products brought by FPOs, the universal crop insurance scheme should be launched with a 100% subsidy on premiums for small farmers with less than two hectares of land.’
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A third-party loss assessors’ association should be part of crop insurance so that claims can be settled quickly and fairly under PMFBY. This would be done through technology-based yield estimation and localized claims assessment.
He also said that grants and subsidies for drones from different programs should be given to Agritech, Agrifintech, and private research organizations working in agriculture.
Aneesh Jain, the founder of Gram Unnati, said, ‘Farmers need to switch to new crops and technologies that have the potential to increase yields and profits by a lot.’ Some incentives or plans for setting up demonstrations will go a long way toward getting farmers to use new crops and technologies. But these demonstrations should be done in small groups, like a village or gram panchayat, so that there is enough production in one place. If not, getting to the market might be hard.
It might also be helpful to give people incentives to use new and modern ways to feed crops. Farmers will need less urea and DAP if these kinds of plans are put in place.
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Lastly, credit guarantees for working capital lines could be looked into as a way to help FPOs and agri-tech companies become part of the agricultural supply chain. Jain said that this will help farmers get paid on time and make it easier for FPOs to connect with markets.