India Budget 2018
The Union Budget 2018 is very promising, especially for the agriculture sector. The Indian economy is spurring and is poised to become the 5th largest very soon. Government’s plan to set up an agriculture market infrastructure fund of INR 2000 crore is a great move to uplift the agriculture sector in India.
INR 500 crore for Operation Green to provide logistics, storage and infrastructure support to address issues of perishables and prevent wastage is a great move at first glance. India’s agricultural production is at a record high level at 275 million tonne food grains and 300 million tonne fruits and vegetable. It is heartening to see that the Government is committed to generate higher income for famers and encourage them to produce more and realise higher prices. Additionally, farmer welfare, which has been a major topic of discussion, especially in Maharashtra, is well taken care of. We are excited to see how these schemes are going to be implemented.
The Warehousing Development Regulations Act (WRDA), which was in the backburner since 2012, will be revived. This is a welcome move, as India needs to focus on warehousing for agriculture. Although the budget does not indicate how they will deal with multiple hurdles engulfing warehousing, it will be interesting to see its execution. Another important point that has been addressed in this union budget is the promotion of organic farming that would be highly beneficial for the seed companies.
We are looking forward to the taxation scheme for start-ups by the Government. They will be taking additional measures to strengthen environment for venture capitalists and angel investors. This is one of the most welcome moves for the startup ecosystem as the Government has addressed the elephant in the room. We now wait to see how this translates into tangible benefits.
From a business standpoint, 25% corporate tax which is now stretched to companies with turnover of 250 crore is going to really boost the MSMEs and help them grow and survive in the competitive market.
[Nilesh Palresha is Executive Director of EarthFood]