Immediate relief sought by farm sector

Experts say that the third part announcements made by the Finance Minister look like a vision document

By Author  |  Published: 16th May 2020  12:02 amUpdated: 15th May 2020  9:00 pm
Immediate relief sought by farm sector
The government announced setting up of two lakh micro food processing units, which will help farmers.

Hyderabad: The third part of Covid relief announcements by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday left the industry asking for some immediate measures to deal with the situation.

“After the two days of loan mela, some focus from the government treasury was extended for the benefit of agriculture and allied activities. This too seems a vision document rather than immediate relief measures,” said K Koteswara Rao, Convener, Forum for Small and Medium Industries.

“Upliftment of rural poor and creation of wealth through fish and cattle development was long adopted by Telangana State. The present document visualises Rs 70,000 crore worth of fisheries business at the end of the five years from now,” he said.

“The Government does not seem to understand the types of needs of people in this distress time and long range vision,” he said.

The FM, among others, also announced Rs one lakh crore for cold supplychain infrastructure development and another Rs 10,000 crore for two lakh micro food enterpises.

According to GV Ramanjeneyulu, Executive Director at Centre for Sustainable Agriculture, agriculture is one of the worst affected segments due to Covid. Farmers are not able to sell the produce and many have gulped huge losses. There are no new announcements made by the Finance Minister for the sector and most of them have already been told in the Budget.

Small startups and cooperative societies did not have access to loans without collateral. “There is a need to come out with guidelines on how these small cooperative societies will be helped,” he said in a TV interview post shared on social media.

Welcoming the announcement to help set up two lakh micro food processing units, he said investments that happened in the food parks have gone waste and they have turned real estate holding companies. They have not helped the consumers or the farmers, he said.

“The Finance Minister’s Covid relief package so far has no visible and direct rehabilitation of the travel and tourism industry. If tackling unemployment is important, then the travel tourism and hospitality has the potential to employ one out of every ten employees globally. The announcement by Finance Minister does not have any direction in addressing the above. If this is not addressed we could we could expect an irreversible damage to the businesses of multiple stakeholders,” said Vijay Mohan Raj, Skal International, an industry body promoting global tourism.

The impact is being felt by as many as 36 segments that are associated with travel industry. They include agents, hospitality, restaurants, guides, car rentals, event managements, meetings and so many others.

In words of Ramakanth Inani, senior vice-president, farmer producer organisations and micro food enterprises will give a boost to the farming sector. These enterprises will aid building a brand and marketing. “Giving farmers the marketing choice to see their produce at attractive prices is long pending,” he said.

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