Budget 2023: Lifting ban on farm exports, cost rationalisation in commodities trading among top pre-budget demands

Increasing securities transaction tax (STT) on options to check “speculative” trading, cost rationalisation in commodities market and reduction of commodities transaction tax (CTT) topped the pre-budget wish list of the market participants in their interaction with finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday.

“We have taken issues like cost rationalisation in commodities market, reduction of CTT to ₹500 from ₹1,000 per crore and restoration of banned agri commodities,” Narinder Wadhwa of Commodities Participants Association of India told ET. Other demands included separate STT for both cash and derivative options.

Sitharaman also met farmer organisations and representatives of the agro and food processing industry.

Farmer organisations have asked the government to lift the ban on exports of items like wheat and restrict import of products that cost below the minimum support price (MSP). They also demanded that the government focus on increasing domestic output of local oilseeds such as soybean, mustard, groundnut and sunflower, instead of palm. India has restricted exports of wheat and broken rice to boost domestic supply and contain inflation.
Imposition of higher taxes on processed foods was another suggestion made by farmers’ bodies during the virtual meeting with finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

Focus on human resources development over infrastructure – agriculture being a state subject & most states are not filling vacancies due to which there is rampant mis governance, use of chemicals & attendant issues. @FinMinIndia find a way to fund this gap,” Bharat Krishak Samaj chairman Ajay Vir Jakhar said in a post on Twitter.

He also demanded that the government “not allow import of produce where landing costs are below MSP”.

To reduce dependence of India on edible oils import, the industry also suggested focusing on increasing domestic production of soybean, sunflower and groundnuts.

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