Agriculturists and organisations, representing cooperative unions and food processing firms, on Tuesday raised a variety of issues for inclusion in the forthcoming Budget.
These include raising the rates of urea while lowering those of phosphatic and potassic (P&K) nutrients to promote balanced use.
They also called for extending income tax (I-T) concessions to primary agriculture cooperative societies (PACS) engaged in processing of farm products and sops for food processing units.
According to news agency PTI, Bharat Krishak Samaj (BKS) said it made the demand with regard to balanced use of fertilisers. In a virtual pre-Budget consultation with finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman and top officials of the finance ministry, BKS chairman Ajay Vir Jakhar also sought reduction in taxes on diesel and transport subsidy on fruits and vegetables, but demanded tax on unhealthy foods, PTI said.
Representatives from National Cooperative Union of India (NCUI), Punjab Agriculture University, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), industry body CII and others were also present during the meeting.
NCUI demanded I-T exemption for PACS engaged in processing and financial incentives in line with farmer producer organisations (FPOs).
CII wanted rates of remission of duties or taxes on export products to be finalised with the aim of making exports competitive. They wanted all public warehouses in India to be registered with Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority in a phased manner.
It also wanted all existing food processing units, which invest additional capital of more than 50 per cent of existing book value of plant and machinery, be treated as new investments. This will make them eligible for a five-year tax holiday, under Section 80IB(11A).
Meanwhile, the PHDCCI said agriculture and rural sector reforms must be undertaken with increased public investments in agricultural infrastructure. It also wanted farmers to have more access to credit as well as direct transfer of subsidies on electricity and fertilisers, among others.