GST-like federal system needed for agriculture sector: Jaitley

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The Goods and Services Tax (GST) has been a big move not just in form of taxation but having a federal system where centre and states work in tandem. Now, Union Minister Arun Jaitley feels that this federal system should be considered for the agriculture sector as well.

Jaitley, who was addressing a gathering in Mumbai through a video link, said that the unanimous effort will help double the income of farmers. He added, “If there is any area in the economy where we can give an example to the world and to ourselves of co-operative federalism, it is the agriculture sector. It can benefit the people more than what GST has done.”

He also said GST is the first example of the Center and the states coming together to run a new tax regime on the basis of federal structure. If the states and the Center support each other on the basis of this model, the farm sector will reap the maximum benefits, Jaitley said. This federal model will enable Center and states to utilize same resources and put to use more resources in a unified manner. He stressed that agriculture is a space that is at distress and that it should do anything to improve farming.

Jaitley also said that the agriculture can make or break governments. “Politicians lose if farmers are not given attention.” Places where governments give attention to the needs of farmers, they have come back in power again and again. But places where farmers are not given the attention needed governments can lose.

Commenting on the recent World Bank report, Jaitley said, “We are growing at a good speed. We have overtaken France to become world’s sixth biggest economy.”He is optimistic that in times to come India has the potential to go ahead of Britain. With inputs from Agencies

India to become self-sufficient in edible oil output –In the past, India faced a problem of shortage but now it is facing the problem of plenty. Except edible oil, India is self-sufficient in food grains and pulses, said Secretary Agriculture S K Pattanayak.

While addressing a gathering in Mumbai, Pattanayak said, “The management tools required is different in case of plenty, from the problem of shortages.” This issue of plenty could be tackled by empowering farmers and helping them find new markets. He further added, “Today, there is no single commodity in which we are not self-sufficient except edible oil. The day is not far when we will be self-sufficient in edible oil production too.”

He added that the country produced 275 million tonnes of food grains in 2016 and 279 million tonnes in 2017. Talking about food grains, he said, in a single year, the country raised its production in pulses from 17 million tonnes to 24 million tonnes.

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