While saying the Union Budget on Monday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman introduced an Agricultural Infrastructure and Development Cess (AIDC) to preserve agricultural output and enhance infrastructure. “There is an immediate need to improve agricultural infrastructure so that we produce more, while also conserving and processing agricultural output efficiently. This will ensure enhanced remuneration for our farmers. To earmark resources for this purpose, I propose an Agriculture Infrastructure and Development Cess (AIDC) on a small number of items. However, while applying this cess, we have taken care not to put additional burden on consumers on most items,” Sitharaman mentioned throughout her third price range speech.
The Finance Minister additionally introduced an enhanced allocation to the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund from Rs 30,000 crore to Rs 40,000 crore. She additional proposed to double Micro Irrigation Fund, began with a corpus of Rs 5,000 crore underneath (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development) NABARD, by augmenting it by one other Rs 5,000 crore. In order to spice up worth addition in agriculture and allied merchandise and their exports, Sitharaman additionally proposed to extend the scope of the ”Operation Green Scheme” which is presently relevant to tomatoes, onions, and potatoes (TOPS), to be enlarged to incorporate 22 perishable merchandise.
On seaweed farming, she mentioned: “Seaweed farming is an emerging sector with the potential to transform the lives of coastal communities. It will provide large-scale employment and additional incomes. To promote seaweed cultivation, I propose a Multipurpose Seaweed Park to be established in Tamil Nadu.” She additionally mentioned that the Minimum Support Price (MSP) regime has undergone a change to guarantee value to farmers that’s at the least 1.5 occasions the price of manufacturing throughout all commodities.