Stakeholders in the seafood industry expect that the two per cent interest subvention announced in the Interim Union budget for 2019-20 for farmers in animal husbandry and fisheries will lead to increased shrimp production and exports.
India is one of leading exporters of shrimp in the world market, having exported about 600,000 tonnes in 2017-18. Total seafood exported from India was valued at Rs 45,000 crore.
"The Government of India's budget announcement of setting up a separate Department of Fisheries is positive for the Indian aquaculture industry as it would lead to prioritization and more focused follow up on the development of farmers", said Pavethra Ponniah, vice president and sector head (corporate sector ratings) with rating agency Icra.
Further, loans availed through the Kisan Credit Card would give the farmers benefit of two per cent interest subvention and will go some way towards easing the ongoing pricing pain for shrimp farmers. The clarity on the interest subvention scheme is awaited, she added.
Last year, low pricing of the perishable item had made the production unprofitable. The announcement has come at a time when Indian shrimp exporters are facing stiff competition from Ecuador, Indonesia and Vietnam and shrimp export volume growth is expected to slow in this year.
Exporters also welcomed the announcement to provide interest subvention.
"The announcement (of interest subvention) will motivate the exporters to do business and farmers will be motivated for increased stocking. It will generate employment and boost exports of shrimp from India", said an exporter.
In the last budget, the government had announced the facility of extension of Kisan Credit Cardscheme (KCC) to animal husbandry and fisheries farmers.
“Now, I propose to provide the benefit of two per cent interest subvention to the farmers pursuing the activities of animal husbandry and fisheries,who avail loan through Kisan Credit Card. Further, in case of timely repayment of loan, they will also get an additional three per cent interest subvention”, Piyush Goyal, Union finance minister said in his interim budget speech.