Budget 2022 expectations: Mr. Ankur Aggarwal, Managing Director, Crystal Crop Protection
29 January 2022, New Delhi: Over last 2 years agriculture production has reached record levels in spite of covid related disturbance. While all other sectors were down, agriculture showed resilience with hard work of farmers, input suppliers and support from government. All stakeholders including farmers put their best foot forward which worked well for the sector. However, existing govt policy and support may not be enough for long term growth of Indian agriculture and we need framework to encourage investment in Research & Development and Manufacturing. Though investment trends are up in Crop protection chemicals, biologicals and seed, but still they are far less than needed.
Mr. Ankur Aggarwal, Managing Director, Crystal Crop Protection, speaking on the expectation from budget 2022 mentioned, “To encourage investment in Manufacturing, government should consider introducing Production Linked Investment (PLI) scheme for crop protection chemicals which will bring more investment towards increasing production. Considering the fact that we are hugely dependent on import from China, such increased investment will reduce import and also open up potential for export of crop protection chemicals.”
“Research & Development related investment is critical so that research for Indian agriculture happen in India and we are not dependent on products and solutions developed outside India”, said Mr. Aggarwal. R&D requires long term investment and requires policies with long term outlook to support more investment in R&D. Tax rebate on R&D expenditure was earlier 200%, which was reduced to 150% and present policy is still not clear on this. This is required to be brought back to 200% which will encourage more investment in R&D. This increase in investment will directly help Indian agriculture and support push for export.
We should support farmers by reducing their input cost. It is surprising that Indian farmers are paying 18% GST for crop protection chemicals. This should be reduced to minimum level so that input cost goes down and help farmers increase their farm profitability. India has huge potential of becoming powerhouse in agriculture not just fulfilling domestic demands but also cater to global markets. By making farming profitable, we can make India global hub of Agriculture production and an export powerhouse.