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Tax holiday for integrated dairy projects: What Devendra Shah, head of Parag Milk Foods, wants from Budget 2015

Devendra Shah, Chairman of Parag Milk Foods Pvt Ltd, India’s largest private dairy, feels that in Budget 2015 a few sectors such as food, pharma, capital goods  and infrastructure will get a push.

He has suggested a slew of measures for development of the dairy sector, which if implemented, says Shah will benefit over one million farmer families.

Here's what Shah is hoping for:

Institute Dairy Technology Mission on Milk Productivity Improvement:

"India has 21 percent of the world’s milch animal population at 371 million. However, milk productivity of the animals is quite low at around 1,000 litres/animal. Therefore, India is able to produce only 17 percent of the world’s total milk production. Traditionally, India was known for its indigenous breeds of cattle and buffaloes; however the genetic material was lost over the last two centuries," he said.

 Tax holiday for integrated dairy projects: What Devendra Shah, head of Parag Milk Foods, wants from Budget 2015

Devendra Shah, Chairman, Parag Milk Foods

"There is a need to start short-term courses on Farm Management Practices, Modern Animal Management Practices, etc. for milk producers, with adequate grants from the government to institutes providing such courses," he said.

  1. "The government needs to set up a Technology Mission on Milk Productivity Improvement on the lines of other Technology Missions established earlier," he said.

 

Free and duty-Free import of semen and other requirements of dairy farms:

"Due to lower productivity of animals and shrinking of farm holdings, dairy farmers are moving from small herds to large farms. Large farms are facing procedural hurdles in obtaining licenses for importing live animals, semen (including sexed semen), embryos, vaccines, fodder, etc. specifically meant for these cattle," Shah said.

According to him, the government should:

1. Allow for import of Semen (including sexed semen), Embryos & Live Animals for captive use under OGL. This would help augmenting genetic material of cross-bred as well as indigenous breeds of cattle

2. Allocate a licence to import vaccines and veterinary drugs specific to herd needs for effective controlling and curing diseases on the farm

3. Permit import of Dry cow therapy for cows at the drying off stage

4. Allow free and duty-free import of fodder like alfalfa in view of acute shortage of feed in the country and spiralling prices

5. Provide subsidy on usage of sexed semen and also arrange to make this technology cost-effective

Buffer stocking mechanism for dairy commodities

"The government should create a separate corporation like the erstwhile Indian Dairy Corporation with sufficient funds to buy and ware-house the stocks of milk solids as against delegating the work to any existing agency already engaged in the sector and may have business interests," he said.

Other things Shah is hoping to hear from the Finance Minister this time round are:

- 15-year tax holiday on direct and indirect taxes for integrated dairy projects

- Subsidy to dairy companies on capital investment in milk preservation and cold chain infrastructure

- Classifying advances to dairy companies under priority sector lending

- Assistance in R&D; and in export of consumer products:

 

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Updated Date: Feb 19, 2015 12:57:19 IST