FPOs AND OTHER INITIATIVES IN THE BUDGET
What’s in news?
- In the recent release of Economic Survey 2019, it was mentioned, Creation of 100 clusters, setting up of 10,000 farmer-producer organizations are the other major initiatives announced by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for the rural sector in the Budget.
- Also discussed the other major initiatives mentioned in this budget.
- There was a plan to form 10,000 farmer producer organisations (FPOs) over the next five years, over and above 6,000-odd that exist currently.
- These farmer collectives will help ensure economies of scale for farmers.
- Majority of the farmers, who are unorganised, small and marginal, fail to get due value for their produce. So the FPO has been initiated.
- Nabard has been propagating collectivization of farmers through FPOs as it allows them to get collective bargaining power in buying agri inputs and selling their produce.
- A new Scheme for Promotion of Innovation, Rural Industry and Entrepreneurship’ (ASPIRE) was launched to help develop 75,000 skilled entrepreneurs in agro-rural industries.
- To help them hone their entrepreneurial skills, the government plans to establish 80 Livelihood Business Incubators and 20 Technology Business Incubators in 2019-20.
- The scheme will boost the entrepreneurial spirit among youth and encourage them to come out with innovative business ideas in the agro sector.
- A fund to upgrade and regenerate traditional industries, called SFURTI, which would seek to set up 100 clusters that would make traditional industries more productive and profitable.
- These clusters, which will focus on bamboo, honey and khadi industries, would help 50,000 artisans.
Aadhar for tax return filing:
- The FM has made PAN card (Permanent Account Number) and Aadhaar card interchangeable for filing tax returns.
- Taxpayers can now file Income Tax returns using Aadhaar Card also.
- To ease of taxpayers the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed to make PAN and Aadhar interchangeable and allowed those who didn’t have PAN to file returns by simply quoting Aadhaar number and use it wherever they require to use PAN.
- Once this proposal will get green light in the Parliament, individuals will be able to use Aadhaar cards instead of PAN cards to conduct financial transactions, for instance, mutual fund investments, buying gold, and others.