July 6, 2019
Coimbatore : United Planters Association of Southern India (UPASI) Saturday said that the plantation industry felt neglected as there was nothing specific in the Union Budget to help the tea, coffee, rubber and spices sectors which were facing a severe crisis.
In his reaction to the Union Budget, UPASI president, A E Joseph said that the main issues highlighted by UPASI in its wish list submitted to the Union Finance Minister for consideration to abolish of Rule 7B(1) of Income Tax Rules, 1962, to enable the coffee growers to sell coffee directly after curing thereby moving up the value chain.
This would have helped growers getting better share in value realisation in line with the Government’s vision of doubling the farmers income by 2022, if the Rule 7B(1) was abolished., he pointed out.
Other points flagged by UPASI were safeguarding the rubber growers from surge in imports and increasing the allocation of funds to Commodity Boards.
While status quo was maintained as far as the Natural Rubber import duty is concerned, there was no increase in allocation of funds to the Commodity Boards which remained same as announced in the Interim Budget in February– Tea Board – Rs.150 crore, Coffee Board- Rs.200 crore, Rubber Board-Rs.170 crores and Spices Board- Rs.100 crore, he said..
Requesting the Centre to factor in the welfare amenities provided by the plantation sector statutorily and free of cost while arriving at the National Minimum Wage, Joseph said that TDS at 2 per cent on cash withdrawal above Rs.1 crore in a year will have liquidity issues in the plantation sector.