FM holds pre-Budget meet with agri experts

FM holds pre-Budget meet with agri experts

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday kicked-off the formal Budget-making process, after meeting the first batch of experts from the agriculture sector for their inputs.

Experts suggested bringing a law for minimum guaranteed income for farmers, setting up of a committee to suggest ways to check seasonal spike in prices of tomato, onion and potato, and striking a balance between domestic production of food grains and their import.

They said India has pursued 'food policy', and Budget 2018-19 was an opportunity to shift to 'farmers' policy'.

Other suggestions included that the Centre should declare an 'agriculture debt relief package' for the entire country, which is used with matching contributions from the state governments. It was suggested to double the number of farmers receiving loans up to Rs 2 lakh at the interest rate of 1% only, and link Aadhaar to such loan accounts to avoid duplication. Experts also suggested the creation of a small group of 5-6 experts to monitor the agriculture production data of different crops and global market conditions or to  plan in advance  for possible adverse situations.

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