Agriculture Current Affair 25 January 2021

Dairy sector’s Budget wish list: No GST on butter, ghee and paneer; incentive for SMP exports

To complement the government’s efforts to secure the country’s nutrition security, the dairy sector has sought zero tax on nutritional products butter, ghee (butter oil) and paneer (cottage cheese) from the current 12 per cent Goods and Services Tax (GST).

The Indian Dairy Association (IDA) has written to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman seeking zero tax on the nutritionally-rich packaged dairy products. “We have requested the Finance Minister to reduce the GST on butter, ghee, paneer from 12 per cent to 0 per cent. Currently, packaged paneer attracts 12 per cent GST while unpackaged paneer is sold without GST. The government is spending a lot on nutrition security. Ghee and paneer are a rich source of nutrition,” GS Rajorhia, President, IDA, told BusinessLine.

Rabi planting hits an all-time high at 675 lakh ha

Rabi sowing in the country set a new record by covering an area of 675 lakh hectares (lha), nearly 2 per cent more than 662 lha planted in the entire season in 2019-20 till end of this week, according to data released by the Agriculture Ministry on Friday.

The sowing in the current season is not over yet.

Heavy winter rain brings hope of bumper ‘first flush’ crop in Bengal tea belt

After months long dry spell, heavy showers during last week have brought smiles back in the tea belt in Bengal. Blessed with the winter time rain NSE -2.63 %, the golden beverage arena is expecting year 2121 to be the fourth consecutive one to give high yield of post winter high value ‘first flush’ tea.

“Winter time dry spell dries up the soil. At this time, rain is a blessing for tea. Good winter shower can give us a favorable first flush yield,” said P K Bhattacharjee. Secretary-General, Tea Association of India. “After the big jolt of lockdown, now the industry is in serious need of high volume and higher level of market realization for survival. Good first flush output can facilitate that,” said many planters.

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