InvestorQ : How has the budget been for the farmers? Will the agri-infra cess impact them?
shrinidhi Rajan made post

How has the budget been for the farmers? Will the agri-infra cess impact them?

10 months ago

Firstly, the agri infra cess is only on select agricultural commodities and not on all the agri commodities. To that extent the impact will be limited. Secondly, the cess is quite steep at the rate of Rs.2.50 / litre on petrol and Rs.4.00 / litre on diesel. In addition, the agri infra cess on alcohol is also quite steep at 100%.

But that is not really the point. The actual point to note is that the finance minister may have sent a very subtle message to the farmers. You would recollect that the farmers have bene protesting outside the limits of Delhi against the Farm Bills and the likely scrapping of the minimum support price or MSP.

Farmers have already refused to withdraw the agitation unless the Farm Bills were scrapped. The government had, in fact, even offered to put off the implementation of the Farm Bills by 18 months giving enough time to reassess the same. However, the farmers had flatly refused to accept that offer.

Now, the Union Budget has actually thrown a googly at the farmers. The budget has made a rather interesting and cryptic announcement that they would digitally connect 1000 APMCs via the electronic national market or E-NAM. The E-NAM was proposed by the NDA government about 5 years back in its Union Budget or 2016, but not much moved.

AT this juncture, this announcement is rather significant. It means that the government is serious about investing in APMCs and their continuance will also mean that the minimum selling price or MSP formula should also continue. One of the big demands of farmers has been an assurance of the continuation of the MSP, and with this cryptic announcement in the budget, it takes away a lot of the farmer spunk.