An online procurement system will be set up as part of measures announced in the Indian budget to support the farming industry.
In his budget speech, finance minister Arun Jaitley said that the benefit of minimum support prices had to reach farmers in all parts of the country and outlined measures to be implemented in 2016-17 to help facilitate this.
As well as the e-procurement initiative to be undertaken by the Food Corporation of India, the minister said that states which have not yet taken up decentralised procurement, set up to make procurement more efficient and promote local procurement, would be encouraged to do so.
Jaitley said the e-procurement initiative would “usher in transparency and convenience to the farmers through prior registration and monitoring of actual procurement”.
The minister also announced the government had approved the creation of buffer stock of pulses through procurement at minimum support price and at market price through price stabilisation fund.
Minimum support price is when the government intervenes to buy agricultural commodities if they fall below a certain minimum in order to protect producers against sharp falls in the market.
In his speech, the minister also outlined the need for more transparency and efficiency in government procurement of goods and services.
“The director general of supplies and disposal will establish a technology driven platform to facilitate procurement of goods and services by various ministries and agencies of the government,” said Jaitley.
Development of the agriculture sector and increasing farmers’ income, including a long term irrigation fund, as well as investment in the rural infrastructure and employment were key pillars of the budget.