Nirmala Sitharaman relief package: To Strengthen agriculture, dairy, fisheries, supply chain; major export push too
Toshi Tiwari May 15, 2020
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In the third press conference of Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, she further unveiled details of the Rs 20 lakh crore economic package, ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ (India’s self-reliant campaign). Finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman in the third tranche of 20 lakh crore economic stimulus focued on relief to agriculture and allied industries. The finance minister shared 11 booster shots for India’s farmers, eight were related to logistics and storage, while the remaining three will pertain to governance and administrative reforms.
In the earlier two announcements, the Finance Minister announced a slew of measures to help the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), migrants, street vendors, tribals and for small farmers.
Key highlights from Nirmala Sitharaman’s third set of announcements on the 20 lakh crore relief package
- Funds transfers worth Rs 18,700 crores done under the PM KISAN Yojana in the past 2 months and PM Fasal Bima Yojana claims worth Rs 6,400 crores have also been released in the past 2 months.
- During the Covid-19 lockdown period, the demand for milk was reduced by 20-25 per cent. New scheme launched for interest subvention at 2 per cent per annum to dairy cooperatives for 2020-21 aimed at unlocking Rs 5,000 crores additional liquidity, benefitting 2 crore farmers.
- In a move to strengthen infrastructure in agriculture, financing facility of Rs. 1 lakh crore will be provided for funding Agriculture Infrastructure Projects at farm-gate and aggregation points. This scheme is also for cold chains and post-harvest infrastructure and specially designed for private companies and startups.
- A scheme to help 2 lakh unorganised Micro Food Enterprises,. This scheme aims to promote the ‘Vocal for Local’ vision of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. Fund of Rs 10,000 allotted.
- For fisheries sector, operations of Marine Capture Fisheries and Aquaculture relaxed to cover Inland Fisheries.
- Government to launch Rs 20,000 crores Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) for integrated, sustainable inclusive development of marine and inland fisheries. This scheme will lead to additional fish production of 70 lakh tonnes over the next 5 years and will employment to over 55 lakh people. To double exports to Rs 1 lakh crore.
- A National Animal Disease Control Programme for foot and mouth disease (FMD) and Brucellosis to be launched with a total outlay of Rs 13,343 crores. This programme will ensure 100 per cent vaccination of cattle, buffalo, sheep, goat and pig population (a total of 53 crore animals) for FMD and brucellosis.
- An Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund of Rs 15,000 crore to be set up. The fund will aim to support private investment in dairy processing and cattle feed infrastructure.
- 4000 crores to be allocated for promotion of herbal cultivation. Up to 10 lakh hectare land to be brought under herbal cultivation. This scheme to generate Rs 5,000 crore income for farmers.
- A Rs 500 crore scheme for infrastructure development related to integrated beekeeping development centres, collection, marketing and storage centres, post-harvest and value addition facilities. This scheme will lead to an increase in income of 2 lakh bee-keepers.
- Essential Commodities Act (1955) amended. To tackle abundance of crops. Cereals, edible oils, oil seeds, potato and onion to be deregulated. No stock limit shall apply for storage.
- ‘TOP to TOTAL’, government extends Operation Greens from tomatoes, onion and potatoes (TOP) to all fruits and vegetables. Additional Rs 500 crores for supply chains disrupted by lockdown which would include all perishable items. 50 per cent subsidy on transport and storage, pilot for 6 months. Scheme likely to extend once pilot is cleared.
- Central law to provide farmers choice to sell at attractive prices. Inter-state trade to be made barrier-free. E-trade of produce to be facilitated.
- Standard mechanism for predictable pricing. Legal framework to help farmers to fix their own price. Assured price return quantity for farmers prior to sowing. To increase availability on farming technology and selling opportunities.