Agriculture is the mainstay of the Indian economy because of its high share in employment creation and GDP. The sector accounts for 17% of India's GDP and employs almost 53% of the country's workforce. Despite technological advancements, agriculture in India is still dependent on nature. With this year's budget we have several expectations in order to boost the economy which in turn will help India achieve the national goal of food security and doubling the farm income.
Currently, there is no excise duty on Seeds, Fertilizers and Farm Equipment's, while Pesticides attract 12.50% excise duty. Due to the excise and VAT burden, pesticides become costly for farmers. Removal of excise duty and VAT would make pesticides more economical for farmers which would further help in increasing productivity.
Also, the Industry has been impacted by 10-15% due to demonetization. The demand for agro-chemicals has also been impacted due to this reason. We expect budget to make provisions for a sizable fund for industrial as well as on new technological education and training of farmers. Even today, large segment of Indian farmers are unaware of the new technologies which is hindering acceptance of digital modes of transaction.
We appreciate the initiatives taken by the government in the last budget and look forward to more such initiatives and enhanced focus on implementation of government schemes.
The author is the Managing Director of Dhanuka Agritech Limited