Government to provide comprehensive package for growing fruits & vegetables
The Union Budget for 2022-23 has been presented by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Here are some of the key takeaways-
For farmers to adopt suitable varieties of fruits and vegetables, and to use appropriate production and harvesting techniques, the government will provide a comprehensive package with participation of state governments.
Cost effective Ayush services under the National Ayush Mission (NAM) have gotten major boost in the Union Budget 2022 presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman today. The total allocation of budget to Ayush Ministry in last 7 years has increased over four times from 691 Cr to Rs 3050 Cr.
Recognizing the importance of traditional medicine system of India including Yoga and Naturopathy in current pandemic led situation, the central government has been emphasizing in the augmentation of works done by Ayush Ministry. In the present budget, this is reflected in increase of budget provisions in various Ayush sectors and core areas. Increasing Budget amount, under NAM, a Centre sponsored scheme, up to Rs 800 Crore will help Ayush in the upgradation of its hospitals and dispensaries, support cultivation of medicinal plants and in many other areas including increase in export of value added items of medicinal plants. The NAM had earlier received the budget of Rs 500 Cr.
Project imports and capital goods
National Capital Goods Policy, 2016 aims at doubling the production of capital goods by 2025. This would create employment opportunities and result in increased economic activity. However, several duty exemptions, even extending to over three decades in some cases, have been granted to capital goods for various sectors like power, fertilizer, textiles, leather, footwear, food processing and fertilizers. These exemptions have hindered the growth of the domestic capital goods sector.
The FM has proposed extending the tax holiday scheme to startups incorporated till March 31, 2023, in addition to the startups that had already been eligible for the exemption. She also said that Venture Capital and Private Equity invested more than Rs 5.5 lakh crore last year facilitating one of the largest startup and growth ecosystem.
The Productivity Linked Incentive (PLI) in 14 sectors for achieving the vision of AtmaNirbhar Bharat has received excellent response, with potential to create 60 lakh new jobs, and an additional production of ` 30 lakh crore during next 5 years.
An allocation of Rs. 60,000 crore has been made to cover 3.8 crore households in 2022-23 under Har Ghar, Nal Se Jal Scheme.
Mission Shakti, Mission Vatsalya, Saksham Anganwadi & Poshan 2.0
Recognizing the importance of Nari Shakti as the harbinger of our bright future and for women-led development during the Amrit Kaal, the government has comprehensively revamped the schemes of the Ministry of Women & Child Development. Accordingly, three schemes, namely, Mission Shakti, Mission Vatsalya, Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0 were launched recently to provide integrated benefits to women and children. Saksham Anganwadis are a new generation anganwadis that have better infrastructure and audio-visual aids, powered by clean energy and providing improved environment for early child development. Two lakh anganwadis will be upgraded under the Scheme.
Industry reactions to the Union budget 2022-23
“During the budget session of 2022-23, the Finance Minister highlighted 2023 as the international year of millets. It is a welcoming step and a good move towards increasing diet diversity. Millets not only form the livelihood mainstay of 60% of Indian farmers (especially small farmers), but are also a boost to a nutritionally rich diverse food plate. We need to now focus on promotion of millets and their robust integration in all social safety net programs. Integration of millets in the public welfare measures such as MDM, PDS and ICDS can help address the micronutrients deficiencies burden that India faces. This requires action at all ends – procurement, distribution and consumption.”
Mini Varghese, Country Director, Nutrition International, India
“The announcements in the budget speech for setting up National Tele-Mental Health Programme, National Digital Health Ecosystem, supporting the millet mission, upgradation of 2 lakhs Anganwadi centres under Saksham Anganwadi and allocation of Rs 60,000 crore for household tap water are significant interventions. It is however important to ensure that the benefits reach the most marginalised children, and adequately address their health and nutrition needs.
The Budget speech made no mention on allocation of budget for improving the core health sector. In keeping with the adverse impact of COVID-19 on health of children, it is critical that adequate budget allocation on health sector is made, in keeping with our demand to have a budgetary allocation of 2.5% of the GDP.”
Sudarshan, CEO, Save the Children
“To give impetus to the health & wellness industry, we expected that the government could have rationalized GST on healthcare supplements. This would have helped in making the products affordable and accessible for all and helped boost the healthcare agenda of the government, which is the need of the hour as these products play an important role in the overall healthcare and well being of the population. From the consumer perspective, we also expected an increase in the income tax limit as it would have enhanced savings and people’s spending capacity, which is critical for improving consumer sentiment.”
Praveen Chirania, Founder, Muscle and Strength India
“It is great to see the GOI focusing on women-led programs related to health and nutrition programs and bringing them together rather than working in silos. The budget allocation for the agri-sector is envisioned for sustainability. Focus on POSHAN will have an impact on health and nutrition status due to the pandemic impact. Making schemes more gender responsive by advising ministries to submit gender-responsive budgets is a good start and can be a gamechanger to address data gaps. However, outlay for the PM’s vision, like provision of fortified rice by 2024, is missing. A reduction in GST on Fortified rice kernels (FRK), branded fortified rice/wheat flour and premix should have been included. For states to effectively implement nutrition programs, budget allocations for feeding programs could have been increased for provision of quality and nutrient dense meals.”
Rohini Saran, Lead, Nutrition, PATH South Asia
“We were expecting some announcements in terms of GST reduction for the healthcare sector covering all wellness-related services, including naturopathic to nutrition, that has not been even considered, which is a disappointment for us.”
Functional Nutritionist Mugdha Pradhan, CEO and Founder, iThrive
“A more promising statement was the package that centers on farmers adopting appropriate fruits and vegetables, as well as proper harvesting practices. The move will go a long way towards uplifting the food processing sector.”
Ghanshyam Khandelwal, Chairman, BL Agro