By Admin


Chandigarh Feb 1 – The Union Minister for Food Processing  Harsimrat
Kaur Badal today described the Union Budget presented today as ”
daring, futuristic and visionary for the farmers of the country in
general and for the enterprising Punjab farmers in particular.
” This is an extraordinary budget because it takes to a
new  level the government’s commitments to raising the incomes
and living standards of farmers. The Government will keep the MSP of
unannounced Kharif crops at least 1.50 times of their production costs
She said that at present, far from getting 150% of their costs, the
farmers often have to sell their
produce at a loss.
Badal said that the Niti Ayog will henceforth devise a mechanism
to provide adequate  price  to farmers in consultation between the
centre and the state governments

The second major and equally futuristic approach is the application of
new  ideas to improve the income avenues
for farmers with value additions through food processing. The budget
regards  agriculture as an “enterprise”, with focus on increasing
the farmers’ incomes with value additions through food processing.”
In a statement here, Ms Badal expressed her “gratitude on behalf
of the farmers to the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and Finance
Minister Arun Jaitely for ‘their profound concern for farmers by
focusing on ways to substantially increase  their incomes   through value
additions. This is reflected in the exponential  100% increase the
budget for food processing from Rs 715 in 2017-18 to Rs 1400
crores.This is aimed at freeing the farmers from the slavery of
selling their products merely as raw-produce and focusing on value
addition through food processing. For this, I cannot thank the PM and
FM enough on behalf of the brave and patriotic farmers,” said the
Union Minister.

She said that another major step forward in this direction is the
creation of Specialised Agro  Processing Financial Institution in the
Food Processing sector. The government’s commitment to diversifying
agriculture can also be seen in a bold commitment of Rs 10,000 crore
for Fisheries and aquaculture and Rs 1200 core for bamboo farming, the
latter also contributing to forestation. Similarly, the allocation of
Rs 500 crore for the promotion of Potato, Onion and Tomato crops was
another step in that direction. She also thanked the FM for the
decision to upgrade 22000 Rural Haats and 585 Mandies through
infrastructure up-gradation.

Badal welcomed the decision for 100% exemption  in income tax for
FPOs in Food Processing for a period of 5 years.