Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) will help increase investments in dairy sector. The relief to cooperatives has come at a time when milk processing capacity is being doubled in the country.The cooperative sector proposals will also lead to more creation of jobs and remunerative prices to farmers.Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation, India’s largest cooperative that markets Amul brand, along with its 18 district level milk unions will be able to save Rs 15 crore on account of the reduction in tax and AMT exemption.Cooperatives had demanded level playing field by seeking lower tax on the lines of reduced corporate tax offered to companies. “This discrepancy has been eliminated. Farmers will now try to earn more profits from animal husbandry,” said R S Sodhi, managing director, GCMMF.
Gujarat’s dairy cooperatives have 36 lakh farmers as their members and they are currently paying nearly Rs 150 crore as taxes. Both GCMMF and the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) had demanded reduction in tax ahead of the budget.The target to double milk processing capacity from 53.5 million tonnes (MT) to 108 MT by 2025 will create 96 lakh new jobs in rural and urban India, said industry players.“With addition of each one lakh litre milk processing capacity in the organised sector, 6,000 new jobs including 5,000 in rural India and 1,000 in urban India get created,” he said.
The dairy economy suffers a loss of around Rs 20,000 crore per year due to foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) alone directly affecting livelihood of farmers.“Eradicating FMD and brucellosis in the country by 2025 would require effective implementation for the benefit of millions of small and marginal dairy farmers. The effective implementation includes manufacturing and sourcing of quality vaccines, robust testing methods and facilities, introduction of robust systems and processes and training of personal at all levels,” said NDDB’s chairman Dilip Rath.“Eradication of FMD and brucellosis will help us overcome the technical barrier of trade agreements for export of milk and milk products and also follow the codex guidelines on quality and safety,” he said.