Sitharaman brings farm cess on petrol, diesel

Last Updated: Monday, 1 February 2021 (14:54 IST)
New Delhi: Union Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday announced a new on and for creating a revenue for the agricultural sector.

As per the announcement, the new cess, to be called as agri infra cess, will be charged Rs 2.5 per litre on petrol and Rs 4 on diesel.
The prices of both the fuels have been skyrocketing from the past few months despite a comparatively cheaper crude oil in the international market.
Ms Sitharaman said the minimum support price (MSP regime) has undergone “sea change” in the last six years as it was now 1.5 times the cost price while the procurement of foodgrains has been enhanced.
“The MSP (minimum support price) regime has undergone a sea change to assure a price that is at least 1.5 times the cost of production across all commodities. The procurement has also continued to increase at a steady pace. This has resulted in an increase in payment to farmers substantially,” she said while presenting the Union 2021.
However, as she was highlighting the government’s initiatives in agriculture, the opposition started raising voice and appealed to repeal the new farm laws.
In the morning, few members of the Opposition, including that of Aam Aadmi Party and Shiromani Akali Dal, were holding placards against the farm laws.
Tens of thousands of farmers from several states have been protesting at the borders of Delhi against the new laws which they feel as anti-farmer and pro-corporate.
Ms Sitharaman said the procurement of crops like paddy, wheat, pulses and cotton has jumped in the last six years.
Sharing details, she said, for wheat, the total amount paid to farmers in 2013-14 was Rs 33,874 crore while in 2019-20, it was Rs 62,802 crore.
Ms Sitharaman said the wheat growing farmers have increased from 35.57 lakh in 2019-20 to 43.36 lakh in 2020-21.
In paddy, she said in 2019-20, the total procurement was of Rs 1,41,930 crore, a manifold increase from 2013-14 was Rs 63,928 crore.
The number of paddy farmers has increased from 1.2 crore in 2019-20 to 1.54 crore in 2020-21, Ms Sitharaman said.
Coming to pulses, Ms Sitharaman said in 2019-20, Rs 8,285 crore was paid, a sharp increase from Rs 236 in 2023-14.
“It is more than a 40 times increase from 2013-14,” she remarked. (UNI)