Agri-based industries demand fiscal help to tide over the pandemic

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Agricultural processing industries like dairy and sugar have started demanding fiscal incentives to tide over the pandemic induced glut and losses. The textile industry has sought an extension of moratorium on term loan repayment by another six months from September 1 to March 31. According to the industry estimates, in the first quarter of 2020-21 fiscal, Indian knitwear exports fell a whopping 60.54% to Rs 5355 crore from Rs 13,570 crore the year ago.

“We are still operating at 40% to 50% capacity. Hence we have represented to the government to give extension of another six months to the moratorium on repayment of term loan instalments and working capital facilities till March 31,” said Raja M Shanmugam of Tirupur Exporters’ Association. The dairy industry, which has to procure milk from farmers, has been reeling under accumulated inventory. Maharashtra government has decided to seek assistance from the central government to get subsidy for export of milk powder. Maharashtra wants central government to bring buffer stock scheme for milk powder and increase subsidy for exports. Farmer organisations have been agitating demanding remunerative price for milk.

The sugar industry will continue to enjoy incentives for export of sugar as it has a buffer stock scheme. However, the Nationalist Congress Party, a coalition partner in the government in Maharashtra, has already written to the prime minister demanding one-time grant of Rs 650 crore per tonne of cane crushed by the mills during past two years. Now, the sugar mills have started lobbying to get this relief.





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