Budget 2023: Agro-chem industry seeks cut in GST, import duty on crop protection chemicals

India has not invented any new crop protection chemical molecules in recent years because the cost is relatively high.

Budget 2023 Agro-chem

The Agro Chem Federation of India (ACFI) has urged Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to reduce import duty on crop protection chemicals and provide fiscal incentives to private players for undertaking research and development in the upcoming Union Budget 2023-24.

Observing that India has not invented any new crop protection chemical molecules in recent years because the cost is relatively high, Parikshit Mundhra, Chairman of ACFI in a release said that adequate incentives are needed to promote the domestic industry.

“India presently has no choice but to import to ensure that Indian farmers are not deprived of new technological crop protection solutions,” he said in the release on Monday. It also urged the government to bring down the GST on crop protection chemicals to 5 per cent at par with fertilisers.

The federation said that the current GST of 18 per cent on chemicals is not in the interest of small and marginal farmers as they have to shell out more money to purchase crop protection chemicals.

The industry body said the Department of Chemicals has shortlisted 40 molecules under the PLI scheme till the day, which includes seven crop protection chemical intermediates.

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As part of its Atmanirbhar plan, the Government launched Production Linked Incentive (PLI) schemes in varied sectors to make Indian manufacturers globally competitive, attract investments, enhance exports, integrate India into the global supply chain and reduce dependency on imports.

ACFI now expects that some announcement regarding the extension of the PLI Scheme to more crop protection chemical intermediates will be made in the Budget. The government is in the process of finalising the Budget document to be presented on February 1.

The formal exercise to prepare the annual Budget for the next financial year (2023-24) commenced on October 10. Budget 2023 is likely to be the last full Budget of the Modi government in its second term with the next Lok Sabha elections due in April-May of 2024.

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