In a move to benefit farmers engaged in micro-irrigation across the state, the Gujarat government on Tuesday decided to waive the 18 percent Goods and Service Tax (GST).
This waiver is expected to provide a Rs 77.64 crore relief (for the current financial year) to farmers engaged in micro-irrigation under the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana, stated a state government release here. A state government arm, Gujarat Green Revolution Company Limited (GGRC), is the implementing agency for micro-irrigation schemes on behalf of Government of India and Government of Gujarat.
On September 9, 2017, the Government of India had already reduced GST on certain micro irrigation items like nozzles for drip irrigation equipment or sprinklers for projecting, dispersing and spraying to 12 percent from the earlier 18 percent.
Between May 2005 to October 2016, a total of 8.78 lakh farmers have been covered under micro-irrigation which is spread over 14.1 lakh hectares. In this scheme 36,202 large farmers, 87,131 marginal farmers, 48,5677 medium farmers and 26,8990 small farmers were covered (as on October 2016). Banaskantha has the maximum area under micro-irrigation (2.86 lakh hectare), followed by Junagadh and Rajkot.
Major agriculture crops covered under micro irrigation in Gujarat are groundnut, cotton and sugarcane, while horticulture crops covered are potato, banana, mango and vegetables.