Finance Minister holds pre-budget consultation with representatives of agriculture, agro-processing sectors

ANI New Delhi, Delhi, India Dec 17, 2019, 09.37 PM(IST)

File photo of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Photograph:( Reuters )

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Along with the Finance Minister, the meeting was attended by the Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday held her fourth pre-budget consultations with different stakeholder groups from agriculture and agro-processing sectors in connection with the forthcoming general budget 2020-21.

The main areas of discussion during the meeting included agricultural marketing reforms, organic and natural farming, agricultural commodity markets and future trading, storage infrastructure for agricultural produce, animal husbandry, agro-processing industry, ideas for reducing food subsidy among others.

Along with the Finance Minister, the meeting was attended by the Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur.

Representatives of the agro-processing and rural development sectors submitted various suggestions to boost investment in the agricultural sector and enhance market access to farmers.

Significant suggestions received from the stakeholders included building brands of Indian agricultural products abroad, giving processing industry benefits, importance equivalent to agriculture, accelerate depreciation benefit to the agri-processing industry, revamping of PMFBY and encouraging the development of farm eco-system services and market intelligence systems.

Representatives also felt the need for expansion of multi-dimensional research in agriculture for the development of new technologies and further suggested for promoting start-ups in institutes of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Agriculture Universities for young agricultural students.