Sunday, November 23, 2014
 
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Pre-Budget Discussion with farmers : Rather
Jammu, January 21(Scoop News) –Underscoring the significant importance of agriculture in the overall Socio-economic emancipation of the State, the Minister for Finance and Ladakh Affairs, Ab. Rahim Rather today urged the need for introduction of modern farming techniques and latest agriculture research besides ensuring timely availability of quality agriculture inputs for enhancing agriculture production and productivity in a big way.
Speaking at a Pre-budget discussion with the representatives of Progressive farmers, on the 3rd consecutive day at Jammu, Rather on Monday said that owing to the primary role of agriculture sector in bringing economic prosperity and employment generation, the State Government has made almost entire agriculture sector tax free, with the main objective to make the farming an attractive viable and gainful activity. He said the process of Pre-budget discussions with the Progressive farmers has been initiated by him to give vent to their feelings through interactions in presence of the higher authorities associated with Budget formulation exercise, so that their genuine and fruitful suggestion could be incorporated in the Budget proposals. He said almost all the genuine suggestions of the farmering community, presented during last 4 pre-budget discussions have been considered favourably adding that Government was open to lend every possible support to give further boost to agriculture activities in the State.
Rather said inputs provided by the representatives of farming community in previous budget meetings have proved very fruitful and now hardly any activity under agriculture and allied sectors is now left without the benefit of various incentives including tax concession. He said availability of hybrid seeds and adequate irrigation facilities to the fruit growers and agriculturist is under the main focus of the Government.
“A look on the past 40 years clearly demonstrate that such agriculture promotion measures have never been taken as in last 3 Budgets”, Rather asserted adding that formulation of, first of its kind, Kissan Welfare Board was an encouraging beginning in this direction which has been representing Kissan Fraternity satisfactorily not in Pre-Budget discussions but at various foras for a of the government and civil administration. He said, infact, constitution of Kissan Development Board was a good omn for the farmering committee. He said Pre-Budget discussion with farming community has now become a permanent and inbuild component of Budget formulations and no Finance Minister in future can afford to ignore this community in future now also, Rather maintained.
The progressive farmers, while extending gratitude to the Finance Minister, for providing liberal and whole hearted tax concessions on agriculture inputs and implements, sought further tax relief on oil seeds, export of honey, power tillers and fertilizers especially on DAP. They also sought implementation of crop insurance scheme fully besides and provision of free medicines for cattle they also demanded to levy toll tax on import of artificial flowers to promote local floriculture in the state. They lauded the Government for implementing centrally sponsored saffron mission and Basmati Mission in the State hoping that such type of revolutionary measures will go a long way in bringing both qualitative and quantitative improvements in the agriculture and allied sectors.
Apart from heads of various departments, including Agriculture, Horticulture, Animal Husbandry, Sheep Husbandry, Floriculture, Sericulture, Fisheries, about 35 Progressive farmers associated with different agriculture activities and MLC Jahangir Mir presented their suggestion for promotion of the respective agriculture activities .
The Economic Advisor to the Government Jalil Ahmed Khan, Financial Commissioner Finance Iqbal Khandey, Commissioner Commercial Taxes, Kifayat Hussain Rizvi, Special Secretary Finance Zubair Ahmed, Deputy Commissioner, Commercial Taxes (HQ) Showkat Aijaz, Secretary J&K Kissan Board Welfare, G.A. Mir and Dy. Commissioner Commercial Taxes (Audit) Mrs. Anoo Malhotra, were also present in the meeting.
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