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Last Updated : Jun 11, 2019 04:48 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Sitharaman begins pre-Budget talks with representatives of agri, rural development sectors

She discussed measures to boost economic and social infrastructure in rural areas and ways to eradicate unemployment and poverty through development of agriculture and allied sectors.

Kamalika Ghosh @GhoshKamalika

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman held her pre-Budget consultations with representatives of stakeholder groups from agriculture and rural development sectors on June 11. She discussed measures to boost economic and social infrastructure in rural areas and ways to eradicate unemployment and poverty through development of agriculture and allied sectors.

Sitharaman said the ministry will hold broad-based consultations with stakeholders from the fisheries sector to bring about a blue revolution by optimally using India’s maritime resources.

She stressed upon encouraging startups, which can remove segmentation in the agriculture market and help in providing remunerative markets for agriculture products and supplying it to final consumers at reasonable prices. "We need a dedicated fund for rural startups that provide services to the agri sector," said Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General of industry body CII, after the meeting.

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The National Diary Development Board sought export incentives for dairy products to maintain its existing growth rate of six percent. “We have also sought reduction in the GST rate on ghee from 12 percent," Dilip Rath, its Chairman, said.

Niti Aayog Member Ramesh Chand said emphasis should be put on food processing as it creates better demand and value for farmers. He added that the think tank has sought promotion of exports and public and private investment in the agri sector.

Ajay Vir Jhakar, Chairman, Bharat Krishak Samaj, said the farmers’ forum has suggested prioritising human resources development allocation to the Finance Minister. Besides, he feels the government should focus on agriculture research and fill up vacancies of all agricultural scientists. “PM Kisan should be extended to farm workers and landless labourers. The government should tell farmers about alternative crops given the likelihood of a weak monsoon," he stated.

The meeting was also attended by Anurag Thakur, Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs; Dr Ramesh Chandra, Member, NITI Aayog; Subhash C Garg, Finance Secretary; Girish Chandra Murmu, Expenditure Secretary; Ajay Narayan Pandey, Revenue Secretary; among others.

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First Published on Jun 11, 2019 04:48 pm
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