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7:49 am - Friday December 15, 2017

Arun Jaitley starts pre-budget meet

Farmer’s groups suggests to shift focus on ‘Farmer’s Policy’

Agencies, New Delhi

The various farmer’s group representatives suggested on Tuesday that for decades, India has constantly pursued ‘Food Policy’ and Budget 2018-19 is an opportunity to shift to ‘Farmers’ Policy’.

During the pre Budget meeting with Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs Arun Jaitley, they suggested the need to reduce pressure on the land by creating off-farm jobs.

They said that to ensure the delivery of remunerative prices to farmers, the ‘Price Deficiency Payment Mechanism’ must be implemented immediately for those crops where procurement cannot be ensured.

Other suggestions included that the Centre should declare an ‘Agriculture Debt Relief Package’ for the entire country which is used with matching contributions from the State Governments.

It was suggested to double the number of farmers receiving loans upto Rs. 2.00 lakhs at the interest rate of 1per cent only and link Aadhar to such loan accounts to avoid duplication and also greater emphasis on Agro Forestry for income generation.

One group suggested to create a small group of 5-6 experts who can monitor on monthly basis the agriculture production data of different crops and global market conditions or to do advance planning rather than the Government reacting suddenly to an adverse situation.

There is also need to give more focus on dairy, fruit and vegetable items which has potential to grow 3-4 times more and thereby can help in achieving the goal of doubling of the farmers’ income by 2022, they further suggested.

It was suggested that there is need to start ‘Operation Veggies’ and focus should be given to TOP – Tomato, Onion and Potato as there is maximum volatility in their prices.

Among other suggestion they ask to give more thrust to warehouses, cold storages at the local level and give boost to agro processing facilities in order to optimally manage the increased production of agriculture produce, especially of perishable items.

It was also suggested to have an Integrated Transport System so that farmers can send/take their produce to the far off market places where they can get better prices of their produce and in turn, help in containing their prices.

It was also suggested that on the lines of other subsidies, food and fertilizers subsidy should also be given through DBT mechanism to avoid pilferage.

The representatives were of the opinion that there should be more flexibility in farmer related policies such as ‘Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana’, electronic trading facilities and allow States to have their own policies as one Uniform policy cannot work in all the States.

It was suggested to increase the prices of urea and decrease the price of PMK which will save money for both the farmers as well as the Government.

Posted in: Featured, Nation

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