India Union Budget 2021: Sitharaman further said that the Prime Minister had reiterated ahead of the commencement of the Budget session that the offer to suspend laws for 18 months still stands.
FInance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman
Union Budget 2021-22: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today reiterated that the Centre was open to a clause-by-clause discussion on three laws at the heart of ongoing protests near Delhi. Responding to a question on the Agriculture Infrastructure and Development Cess introduced in Budget 2021, the FM said: “Farmers have been sitting at borders, we all understand. If any farmers have any question, the agriculture minister never hesitated in having dialogue. He has sat down…and he also says let’s have discussion on three farm laws clause-by-clause. I believe talks are the way…government is open for discussion.”
Sitharaman further said that the Prime Minister had reiterated ahead of the commencement of the Budget session that the offer to suspend laws for 18 months still stands. “So if farmers have any doubts or questions they should come forward and hold discussions with the government,” she said during a press conference after the budget presentation in Parliament.
Speaking on newly-introduced agri infra and development cess, the finance minister said that it will be used to develop agriculture infrastructure including state-run mandis, better known as APMCs. During the budget speech in Parliament, the finance minister said that the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund would be made available to APMCs for augmenting their infrastructure facilities.
In the Budget 2021, Sitharaman said that there was an immediate need to improve agricultural infrastructure to produce more, while also conserving and processing agricultural output efficiently. “This will ensure enhanced remuneration for our farmers. To earmark resources for this purpose, I propose an Agriculture Infrastructure and Development Cess (AIDC) on a small number of items,” she said.