Rather Vows to Make Agriculture 100% Tax Free

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Hails Centre’s decision to provide subsidy direct to farmers

SRINAGAR: The Minister for Finance and Ladakh Affairs, Mr. Abdul Rahim Rather has said that, owing to great importance of Agriculture sector in the socio-economic transformation, all the available resources are being pooled to make farming a viable employment oriented business activity.

Speaking to a large gathering of progressive farmers drawn from across the Kashmir division, under the aegis of State Board for Development of Kissans, in connection with Pre-Budget discussions, the Minister assured the farming community that every possible support will be provided to them to give boost to agriculture and allied sectors including tax concessions and other incentives. He said in view of the importance of agriculture sector in employment and economic generation, the agriculture has been made almost 100 percent tax free adding that further tax relief, if needed, will be provided to improve the living standard of the farmers.

The Vice Chairman, State Board for Development of Kissans, Mr. Radhay Sham Sharma, Commissioner Commercial Taxes, Mr. Kifayat Hussain Rizvi, Special Secretary Finance, Zubair Ahmad, Secretary Kissan Development Board, Mr. G.A. Mir, Director Agriculture Kashmir, Dr. Farooq Ahmad Lone, Directors Horticulture, (P&M), Mr. M. Saleem, Directors of Sheep, Animal Husbandry, Director Floriculture and concerned officers were also present in the meeting.

Rather said the practice of Pre-budget discussion with farmers have proved very fruitful as their maximum demands regarding tax relief to agriculture inputs and implements have been conceded and reflected in previous Budgets since 2009. “Poultry, Sheep breeding, animal husbandry, floriculture, fungicides, insecticides and fertilizers have already been brought under the ambit of tax relief”, Mr. Rather added.

Rather, while eulogizing the role being played by the Kissan Development Board, said its constitution in itself is a revolutionary and historic step taken by the dynamic Chief Minister, Mr. Omar Abdullah towards the betterment of the farming community. It is no less than revolutionary “Land to Tiller” decision of Sher-i-Kashmir which later on changed the overall socio-economic scenario in the State. He said Pre-Budget discussions with farmers has become a permanent feature now adding that hardly any Finance Minister can afford to finalize his budget proposals without hearing the farmers.

He also enjoined upon the officers of agriculture and allied departments to work with social obligation to boost this sector in a big way adding that timely supply of good quality agriculture inputs and fertilizers with adequate irrigation facilities to the farmers needs to be ensured for increasing production and productivity. He asked the Directorate of Enforcement of Agriculture Department to gear up for this purpose. He also hailed Centre’s decision to provide subsidy directly to the beneficiaries.

The farmers demanded increase in plan allocation for agriculture and allied sectors, setting up of seed cum fertilizer stores at village level, tax relief on import of polythene and steel frame for Poly Green Houses, provision of deep freezers to increase shelf life of milk, fish and flowers and subsidy or feed and fodder. 

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