Budget 2021 : Agriculture & allied sectors – UPSC GS3

Provisions in Budget 2021:
  • Agriculture Infrastructure Development Cess would be levied on petrol, diesel, gold and other imports, to improve facilities for production, conservation and processing of farm produce.
  • APMCs have been allowed to tap into the Rs.1 lakh crore Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF) which was created last year, as part of the COVID-19 stimulus package to develop cold chain storage and other post-harvest management infrastructure.
  • The outlays for the income support scheme, PM-KISAN and schemes to provide a remunerative price for farm produce, such as PM AASHA and the Price Support Scheme have been slashed.
  • Share of Agriculture and allied activities increased to 4.25% of GDP.

  • The Agriculture Infrastructure Development Cess would help ensure the availability of more funds for the development of the crucial forward linkages to the agricultural sector.
  • By allowing the APMCs to avail credit from AIF the government seems to be indicating its support for the APMC and MSP based public procurement system.
  • The APMCs can avail cheaper loans to help increase the quality of infrastructure.
  • The cuts in allocations to schemes such as PM AASHA and the Price Support Scheme may mark the withdrawal of the state assurance for remunerative prices for the farmers.
  • The reduced allocation for the PM KISAN scheme may not allow the scheme to reach out to its original target of 14.5 crore households.
Allied Sectors:
  • Fishing:
    • The budget proposes the modernization of 5 fishing harbours. The proposed five major fishing harbours are Kochi, Chennai, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Petuaghat.
    • Inland fishing harbours and fish-landing centres along the banks of rivers and waterways would also be taken up going ahead.
  • Seaweed Cultivation: To promote seaweed cultivation, a Multipurpose Seaweed Park would be established in Tamil Nadu.
  • The Blue Revolution centrally sponsored schemes have witnessed increased budget allocations.
  • The increased allocations for the fishery and marine-based sectors would help develop the coastal areas as hubs of economic activity. This would help generate newer employment opportunities and also ensure the welfare of the coastal communities.
  • The proposals are a step in the right direction to exploit the potential of the marine resources of India and realize the vision of a blue economy.
Cotton Cultivation:
  • A 10% customs duty would be levied on cotton imports and the levy on raw silk and yarn has been increased from 10% to 15%.
  • Indian textile mills imported 10 lakh to 12 lakh bales of cotton a year.
  • Significance: The levy on raw cotton imports would increase domestic cotton prices and this could benefit the farmers.
  • Concerns: The increase in domestic cotton prices would have an adverse impact on the entire value addition chain in the textile sector.
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