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‘40% increase in Budget of Livestock Sector & above 48% enhanced allocation for Central sector schemes’

Prime Minister’s Development Initiative for North-East will play a pivotal role in upgrading infrastructure for a whole range of sectors including fisheries

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairying Parshottam Rupala said that the budget truly is a people’s Budget. This budget brings in a lot of trust in the process of development. The Budget carries on the Government of India’s strategy of investing in infrastructure, consolidating finances, and making sure the economy is on a high-growth path. It is pro-poor, women and the marginalized section. The blueprint for the ‘Amrit Kaal’ clearly focuses on the intentions of the Government to improve the productive efficiency of capital and human resource. This emphasizes the idea of ‘trust-based governance’. He reiterated Prime Minister’s sentiments that “Yeh budget Vikas ka naya vishwas lekar aya hai”.

The key highlights of the Union Budget 2022-23 vis-a-vis the Animal husbandry and Dairying sector are many. However, most significant is the increase in the budget of the livestock sector by more than 40% for 2022-23 & enhanced allocation for Central sector schemes by more than 48%. This shows the commitment of the Government under the leadership of the Prime Minister, for the growth of livestock & dairy farmers, Minister said. It is envisaged that the increased allocation for dairy & livestock sector schemes will benefit India’s dairy farmers, he added.

Union Minister observed that the reduction in alternate minimum tax for cooperatives from 18.5% to 15% is indeed a significant announcement that would provide a level playing field between cooperative societies and companies. He said that since most of our Dairy fraternity represents the Cooperative sector, therefore the announcement of a reduction in surcharge & alternate minimum tax will positively impact dairy farmers’ incomes across the country. Similarly, the reduction in surcharge on co-operative societies from 12% to 7% for those having a total income of more than 1 crore and up to 10 crores will benefit thousands of dairy cooperatives within the country – translating into higher income for dairy farmers.

The incentivizing digital banking, digital payments & fintech innovations will have a ripple effect in the livestock sector through greater transparency by streamlining payments during milk procurement & other services rendered by livestock farmers.

Union Minister said that the announcement of incentives for chemical-free natural farming throughout the country will play a major role in enhancing the quality of livestock feed and fodder; this will in turn increase the productivity of our cattle and livestock.

He added that 95% of livestock farmers are concentrated in rural India, infrastructure development under the “Vibrant Villages Program” will play a significant role in enhancing market access for these livestock farmers.

In the union budget, almost 60% enhancement in the allocation of Livestock Health & Disease control for 2022-23 over the previous year will ensure healthier livestock & healthier India through the implementation of ‘One Health Mission’.

The increased budget of 20% in 2022-23 for Rashtriya Gokul Mission & National Program for Dairy Development will help in increasing productivity of indigenous bovine population & quality milk production benefitting 8 crore dairy farmers.

Similarly, Prime Minister’s Development Initiative for North-East will play a pivotal role in upgrading infrastructure for a whole range of sectors including fisheries, poultry processing, animal feed, and dairy across all the 8 North-eastern states.

Supporting start-ups in agriculture and allied sectors through NABARD will boost developmental projects and investment in rural areas, increase productivity and incomes through an infusion of new technology in agriculture, dairy, animal husbandry, and fishery production and marketing systems and facilitate rural prosperity. Union Minister said that promoting the usage of Kisan drones will pave the way for the application of drone technology for better herd management and farm safety.

Regarding the announcement related to the Department of Fisheries, Union FAHD Minister said that the overall budget of the D/Fisheries for the financial year 2022-23 has been increased by 73% in comparison to the allocation of Rs. 1220 crore during the year 2021-22. The total Budgetary allocation of the department for the year 2022-23 stands at Rs. 2118.47 crore as against Rs. 1220 crore(BE) during 2021-22. Allocation to the flagship scheme of Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) has been enhanced by 88% to Rs. 1879 crore for the year 2022-23 from Rs. 1000 crore (BE) during 2021-22, he added. He welcomed the announcement about the cut in duties on Shrimp aquaculture will be reduced to promote export.

With the enhanced allocation of Rs 1879 crore for PMMSY, the Department envisages setting up seaweed seed banks and facilitating the marketing of seaweed through suitable demand aggregators and creating necessary infrastructural facilities to ensure efficient marketing of seaweed to accelerate the cultivation of seaweed and to open up additional livelihood opportunities to the fisherwomen. The Department will also take up the setting up of a network of brood banks for economically important fish species such as Penaeus Indicus and Penaeus Monodon using indigenous technology to make quality seeds available in sufficient quantity to shrimp farmers. In line with the budget announcement, the department will set up an appropriate institutional mechanism for the delivery of digital and hi-tech services to fishermen and fish farmers.

The department will also step up its efforts to modernize the fishing harbours and landing centres to ensure higher value for the catch of the marine fishermen who toil in the sea against all odds to get their catch.

Most importantly, the Department of Fisheries will strive to Promote alternative livelihood for fishermen by engaging them to take up aqua sports and fish tourism. A Centre of Excellence for promoting science-based aquaculture will also be considered.

He said that he has instructed the department to explore the possibilities of the Development of modern fish markets to improve hygiene and to attract new customers. As a pilot, 50 new fish markets will be taken up for modernization this year. Implementation of welfare activities such as fishermen’s insurance, saving-cum relief, and vessel insurance with enhanced coverage will continue to remain as one of the topmost priorities of the Ministry.