India Budget ‘Attempts’ to Bridge Protein Deficit, Godrej Says

Balram Yadav, managing director of Godrej Agrovet Ltd., comments on India’s federal budget for the financial year beginning April 1.

India will cut the budget deficit to 4.6 percent of its gross domestic product, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said in his annual budget speech in parliament today. The government proposes to boost spending on expanding oil-palm plantations and production of lentils, he said.

Yadav made his comments in an e-mailed statement.

On the budget impact:

“We are happy that the budget included initiatives that will boost India’s crop and livestock yields. The government has finally begun to pay serious attention to the livestock sector, with 3 billion rupees dedicated to the creation of a national mission for protein supplements.

‘‘Together with continued funding for pulses and 3 billion rupees for fodder development, there is a serious attempt being made to address the crippling protein deficit. We welcome the allocation of 3 billion rupees for oil-palm cultivation on 60,000 additional hectares, which will help reduce dependence on imported edible oil.’’

On irrigation:

‘‘While reduction of import duty on micro-irrigation products by 2.5 percent was positive, subsidy increases and infrastructure status should have also been granted, given the immense future challenge of water scarcity. Finally, another 1 trillion rupees of credit for farmers and 3 percent interest subvention will help rejuvenate investment across the agricultural sector, increasing long-term productivity.’’

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