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Budget evokes mixed reactions from the industry; focus on agri-tech lauded
Wednesday, 02 February, 2022, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Ashwani Maindola, New Delhi
Union Budget for the fiscal 2022-23 has generated mixed reactions from the industry and while the general feel was positive, some quarters did raise concern about subjects like the GST rationalisation.

CAIT, while appreciating the overall Budget has said that nothing concrete was announced regarding simplification & rationalisation of GST tax structure which is far away from "one market-one tax" principle and no announcement for traders to place them at par with corporate sector in terms of Income Tax, was highly disappointing for the traders.

Amongst the key points in the Union Budget was the adoption of technology-enabled models of agriculture.

Dhruv Sawhney, business head and COO, nurture.farm,  while reacting to the Budget said that the need of the hour was to make the sector more efficient, sustainable, profitable, and the farmers more resilient.

“Revision of agriculture syllabus to include modern agricultural methods; use of Kisan drones for crop assessment, digitisation of land records and spraying of insect pesticides; boosting financial inclusion of farmers through digital modes of payments - all these steps taken by the government will go a long way in agriculture sector achieving its maximum potential while encouraging Indian AgTech startups to strengthen the agri ecosystem from the grassroots level,” he said.

He added, “As a part of the agri-tech industry, I firmly believe that the Budget should not only focus on the economy but also enable sustainable development to secure future generations. Putting climate action as one of the focus areas of the Budget is a mega move from the government. The AgriTech sector plays an important role in educating farmers on sustainable modes of agriculture, scaling the operations, and reducing the carbon footprint that are an outcome of the agricultural practices. The announcement towards the launch of sovereign green bonds for projects signals India’s strong commitment towards a low carbon economy. It will help to bring down the cost of capital for green projects by attracting new investors and mobilising private capital towards sustainable development. This will further boost our efforts to make agriculture sustainable by helping farmers earn more through adopting sustainable agricultural practices.”

On credit front, Srinivas Ganadinni, founder and CEO, of The Tea Planet said, "We heartily welcome the revamp of Credit Guarantee Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) with fund infusion. Union Budget's announcement of expanding the emergency credit line guarantee scheme for MSMEs is good news for us. The addition of Rs 2 Lakh Crore will help the micro & small businesses to grow their ventures and meet their respective goals.”

Further, the Budget announced a scheme for increasing the production of oilseeds.

Ghanshyam Khandelwal, chairman, BL Agro, commented on the Budget, "The Budget was as expected. We didn't anticipate the industry to take centre stage because several schemes for the FMCG sector have already been implemented in recent years. However, the mention of a rationalized strategy to improve domestic oilseed production and minimise reliance on imports was welcomed. A more promising statement was the package that centres 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. "
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