Srinagar, January 24 (Scoop News) – The Minister for Finance and Ladakh affairs, Abdul Rahim Rather, continued his pre-budget discussions today in meetings with the associations of fruit and vegetable growers, and with other groups, belonging to the agriculture and its allied sectors.
The meeting was also attended by the Minister for Agriculture, Ghulam Hassan Mir. Various issues, pertaining to the agriculture sector, were highlighted in the meeting. The need for developing cold storage facilities, strengthening crop insurance schemes, re-introduction of the market intervention scheme, subsidies and tax concessions on various agricultural inputs and other related issues were emphasized by most of these bodies. Other issues, pertaining to horticulture, floriculture, pisciculture and other agriculture related activities were also brought to the notice of the Minister. These suggestions and issues were taken note of.
Speaking on the occasion, Rather highlighted the importance of agriculture in the economy of the state, saying that 70 percent of the population of the state depends on agriculture and its allied activities, and progress in this sector of the economy is crucial to the overall economic development of the state. He impressed upon the farmers to put in every effort to increase productivity, as the land resource is limited.
The Minister highlighted the importance of co-operatives in the development of agriculture infrastructure, saying that, even in developed economies, the governments can’t provide all the infrastructure requirements.
The Minister said that agricultural entrepreneurs can take advantage of various schemes of the Central and State Governments, and of institutions like NABARD, and create infrastructure for enhancing productivity and for the development of post-harvest management and value addition.
The Minister assured all possible help from the Government in this regard. The Agriculture Minister, Ghulam Hassan Mir, also stressed the need to make use of the co-operative model for the development of agricultural infrastructure. In the meeting with various intellectuals and academicians, various suggestions for the improvement of the economy of the state were presented to the Finance Minister.
The Minister appreciated the valuable suggestions made in the interactions, and promised to keep them in view while formulating the budget proposals.
Among others, the meeting was attended by the Economic Advisor to the Government, Jaleel Ahmad Khan, Principal Secretary, Finance Department, Iqbal Khandey, Commissioner Commercial Taxes, Gazanfar Hussain, Director Agriculture, Kashmir, Director Horticulture,