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Day 3 Of Atmanirbhar Bharat: FM Announces Rs 1.5 Lakh Crore Booster For Agriculture

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On the third day of unveiling of the measures aimed at reviving the economy that has been paralysed by the pandemic, the finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman kept her focus on the agriculture sector including barrier-free inter trade of agriculture produce and taking out six ley agriculture produce from the ambit of Essential Commodities Act.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented 11 measures for agriculture and allied activities. This includes eight liquidity measures totalling Rs 1.50 lakh crore for various activities, including infrastructure development, and the remaining three are related to governance reforms. With these, a total of 36 measures with fiscal and liquidity support of Rs 9.90 lakh crore under ‘Atamnirbhar Bharat Abhiyan (Self Reliant Campaign)’, mooted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 12, haven been announced. Now, two more rounds of announcements expected on Saturday and Sunday.

Sitharaman said that “During the lockdown, the demand of Milk reduced by 20-25% New scheme was to provide interest subventions @2% per Annum to dairy cooperatives for 20-21% Same will continue and will unlock 5000 crores additional liquidity, benefitting 2 crore farmers.”

1st measure out of 11 is for Rs 1 Lakh Crore Agri infrastructure Fund to develop farm-gate infrastructure for farmers this will help to Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies, Farmers Produce Organizations, Agriculture entrepreneur, etc.

2nd measure was declared of Rs. 10,000 crore for micro food enterprises and this will be promoting PM Modi’s scheme of “Vocal for Local with Global Outreach” this will also improve health and safety standards, integration with retail markets, improved incomes and will also export market.

3rd Measure was of Rs. 20,000 crores for Fishermen through Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY). Out of which Rs. 11000 Crores will be allocated for activities in marine, inland fisheries, and aquaculture. Sitharaman also stated that “All of these measures are not for entitlement but to help India stand on its own and empowering people.”

4th Measure was regarding the National Animal Disease Control Programme as many Animals are affected with foot and mouth disease, 100 % Vaccination of nearly 53 crore animals, an outlay is of Rs. 13,343 crores. This will be the basis for the Animal Husbandry Measure.

5th Measure is in continuation of vaccinating our animals, this will help in Animal husbandry and Rs. 15,000 Crores are allocated for Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development this will help in potential high milk production, private investment in Dairy Processing, value addition, and cattle feed.

6th Measure is for the promotion of Herbal Cultivation and Rs. 4000 crore is allotted for the same. On both the side bank of River Ganga a Corridor for growing Herbal and medicinal plants in the 800-hectare area at River Ganga. 2.25 Lac hectare will be the total area to be supported.

7th Measure will be of Rs. 500 Crores for the Beekeeping Initiative and will benefit 2 lac beekeepers and quality honey to consumers. Thrust will be on women’s capacity building.

8th Measure will be called From ‘TOP’ to TOTAL regarding disrupted supply chain. Rs. 500 Crores for the same. This will be a 6 months pilot program, it may also be extended further if it goes well. 50% subsidy will be provided to the farmers on transport from surplus to deficient markets and 50% subsidy on storage and Cold storage.

9th Measure relates to the Governance and Administration, Amendment to Essential Commodities Act to enable better price realization for farmers. Towards making sure cereals, oilseed, pulses, onion, potato, edible oils will be deregulated.

10th Measure promises farmers to get an adequate choice to sell their produce at an attractive price. A central law will be formulated. Barriers free Inter-state Trade, the framework will also be introduced for e-trading of Agriculture.

11th Measure stated that a standard mechanism will be introduced to get a predictable price of farmer’s produce, Risk Mitigation for Farmers. Bring in surety as to price before sowing crops. Facilitating legal framework to enable farmers for engaging with processors, aggregators, large retailers, etc. fairly.

While answering a query during the press conference Ms. Sitharaman said: “It is taxpayers money that we are giving back to the people, we are not sitting on it or spreading it over the year.”

Talking about the implementation of the measures, “Ujjwala Scheme, Gharghar Bijli, has reached to everybody. These programs will also be made sure that it reaches to the ground.”

-India Legal Bureau

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