Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman unveiled the third tranche of government’s Rs 20 lakh crore economic package in a bid to revive the Indian economy that has taken a slump due to ongoing nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
As part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaign for a ‘self-reliant’ India, over the past two days, the finance minister has announced special measures like free foodgrains for migrant workers, concessional credit for farmers, working capital incentives for street vendors, collateral-free loans for businesses including MSMEs and liquidity facility for NBFCs, among other initiatives.
Here are the highlights of Nirmala Sitharaman’s address:
The Essential Commodities Act will be amended to enable better pricing for farmers, agriculture products including cereals, edible oils, oil seeds, pulses, onion and potatoes will be de-regulated.
Under the amended Essential Commodities Act, stock limit will be imposed under exceptional circumstances like national calamities, famine with surge in prices. The stock limit shall apply to processors or value chain participants subject ti their installed capacity or to any exporter subject to the export demand.
3rd pkg gfx
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 & aggregation points.
Government to bring in law to implement agriculture marketing reforms to provide marketing choices to farmers; law will provide adequate choices to farmer to sell produce at attractive price.
A facilitative legal framework will be created to enable farmers engage with processors, aggregators, large retailers, exporters in a fair and transparent manner.
TOP to TOTAL: Operational greens will be extended from Tomatoes, Onion and Potatoes (TOP) to all fruits and vegetable (TOTAL). This is expected to give better price to farmers, reduce wastages and improve affordability of products for consumers.
Rs 500 crore will be allocated for beekeeping initiatives and this will benefit 2 lakh beekeepers in the rural areas.
As part of PM’s vision of ‘Vocal for Local with Global outreach’, a scheme will be launched to help 2 lakh Micro Food Enterprises; improved health and safety standards, integration with retail markets and improved incomes to be key focus areas. This will support existing micro food enterprises, farmer producer organisations, self-help groups and cooperatives.
Funds transfer worth Rs 18,700 crores has been done under PM KISAN in past 2 months and PM Fasal Bima Yojana claims worth Rs 6,400 crores released in past 2 months.
Government commits Rs 4000 crore for herbal cultivation in India. The move aims to cover 10 lakh hectare under herbal cultivation in 2 years; corridor of medicinal plants to come up across banks of Ganga.
National animal disease control programme for foot and mouth disease of animals has been launched with a total outlay of Rs 13,343 crore. It will focus on 100 per cent vaccination of cattle, buffalo, sheep, goat and pig population in India.
Government announces an Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund worth Rs 15,000 crore to support private investment in Dairy Processing, value addition and cattle feed infrastructure.
Government to launch Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana for integrated, sustainable, inclusive development of marine and inland fisheries to plug critical gaps in fisheries value chain. The move will provide employment to over 55 lakh people and double exports to Rs 1 lakh crore.
During the lockdown period, demand for milk reduced by 20-25%. A new scheme to provide interest subvention at 2% per annum to dairy cooperatives for 2020-21. The scheme will unlock Rs 5,000 crore additional liquidity, benefit to 2 crore farmers.
It goes to the credit of the farmers who have always stood up to various challenges and has made India reach certain global benchmarks.
To help Fisheries sector, operations of Marine Capture Fisheries and Aquaculture has been relaxed to cover Inland Fisheries.
India is the largest producer of milk, jute, pulses; 2nd largest in sugarcane, cotton, groundnut, fruits, vegetables and fisheries and 3rd in cereal.
The third set of announcements is focussed on agriculture, fisheries, animal husbandry and allied activities.