Arun Jaitley’s recent outing to reveal Budget-2018, didn’t gratify everyone. With special focus on farmers, poor, rural population and small businesses, the budget 2018 disappointed the middle-class by not announcing any changes in the income tax slab while choosing to dedicate the fiscal space to farmers, poor, rural population and small businesses.
However, budget-2018 has been welcomed by the Indian food sector with a warm and overwhelming gesture. The government has doubled the allocation in the food processing sector under Budget 2018-19 to Rs 1,400cr from Rs 750cr last year.
Food processing sector is growing at an average of 8 per cent per annum. Additionally, the agri exports have the potential of US $100bn, and hence government plans to set up state-of-art facility in 42 food parks. Further, the government also plans to set up an agricultural market fund in order to support the rural growth, with a total corpus of Rs2,000cr.
“An effort has been made to address the impact of changing dietary patterns and the increased consumption of proteins through the announcements made in animal husbandry and fisheries. This will also help India from an exports standpoint in the marine sector,” Anand Ramanathan, Partner Deloitte India said.
“However, would have also liked to see a similar focus on promoting investments in horticulture which is another high impact area from a changing food pyramid perspective,” he added.
“Extending the facility of Kisan Credit Card to farmers engaged in fisheries, aquaculture and animal husbandry, Finance Minister has allocated a dedicated fund of Rs 10,000 crore to develop the sector. The move is expected to enhance standards of animal rearing in the country and production, even as the government in 2016 amended norms and hiked standards under Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules 2016 and a similar rule for aquarium and fish tanks,” opined Shrey Kumar, Co-Founder, Aadvik Foods Pvt. Ltd.
While making the announcement, Jaitley stated, “We propose to extend Kisan Credit Card to fishery and animal husbandry farmers. For Fisheries and aquaculture, Animal Husbandry the government dedicates a corpus fund of Rs 10,000 crore.”
“India globally ranks second in fisheries and second in aquaculture according to the National Fisheries Development Board. Considered an important sector to provide nutritional security, the fishery and aquaculture sector alone engages 14 million people, while it constitute about 1.1 percent to country’s GDP and 5.15 percent to the agricultural GDP,” said Anand Shukla, Founder Director, Reefberry Foodex.