To cover the losses due to the coronavirus crisis, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday announced a package of Rs 3.16 lakh crore, including free foodgrains for migrant workers, Rs 2 lakh crore for farmers and working capital for street vendors. Today in the press conference the Finance Minister briefed out part three of the stimulus package, which is predominantly focused on agriculture and related activities as well as other 11 measures. 8 of this will include strengthening infrastructure and logistics. The other 3 steps are administration and administrative reform.
The third set of this stimulus package includes:
- Minimum Support Price purchases worth 74,300 crores have taken place during this lockdown. Rs 18,700 crores transferred to farmers under PM KISAN and Rs 6,400 crores released under PM FasalBimaYojana.
- Various steps are taken to help farmers in the last two months
- ‘We are providing Rs 1 lakh crore for FPOs to strengthen farm-gate infrastructure for farmers’ said Finance Minister
- ‘The government has taken up Rs 10,000 crore projects to formalize Micro Food Enterprises (MFEs)’ Sitharaman said
- ‘Support for animal husbandry during the lockdown. Rs 15000 crore will set up for this. New scheme for dairy cooperatives at a 2% annual interest rate. Additional 2% interest subsidy on instant payment/interest servicing’: mentioned FM.
- The government has come up with Rs 20,000 crore projects for fishermen called Fisheries Resources Scheme (PMMSY)
- To promote herbal farming, 10,000,000 hectares of land will be lost in the next 2 years with a flow of 4,000 crore sap: said Sitharaman.
- Rs 1 lac crore provided for aggregators, FPOs, primary agriculture societies for strengthening farm gate infrastructure, for cold chains, especially for private and startups.
- 100% vaccination of all cattle (about 53 crore animals) to eradicate foot and mouth disease: said FM
- Rs 500 crore beekeeping initiative to benefit 2 lakh keepers
- Operation Greens will be extended to all fruits and vegetables, starting with tomatoes, onions, and potatoes.
- A central law will be enacted to provide adequate choice for farmers to sell products at attractive prices, provide an adequate barrier-free international trade and provide an E-trading structure for agricultural products: said FM.
- All Agricultural products including cereals, edible oils, oilseeds, pulses, onions, and potatoes should be regulated by amending the Essential Commodities Act, 1955: said sitharaman