Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman came up with the third tranche of Rs 20 lakh crore Special Economic package for Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan that forms 10% of country’s GDP. The Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan was announced by Prime Minister in his Mann ki Baat for the nation. The Abhiyan stands on 5 pillars: Economy, Infrastructure, System, Vibrant Demography and Demand.
Finance Minister shares 11 measures in the 3rd tranche of special economic package. This part includes measures to strengthen Infrastructure Logistics, Capacity Building, Governance and Administrative Reforms for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Processing Sectors. The measures introduced here will impact the lives of farmers, fishermen, food processing micro-enterprises in long-term
Economic Relief Package 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan': Part-3
Infrastructure Logistics and Capacity Building
1. Agri Infrastructure Fund for farm-gate infrastructure for farmers
- Context: Government is set to provide financing facility of Rs. 1,00,000 crore Agriculture Infrastructure Projects at farm-gate & aggregation points such as Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies, Farmers Producer Organizations, Agriculture entrepreneurs, Start-ups, etc.
- Funds will be created immediately through this.
- Benefit: It will not only serve as the measure of the short-term crop as well as long term agri-infrastructure need like adequate cold storage chain and post-harvest management at affordable and financially viable rate.
2. Scheme for Formalisation of MFE.
- Context: Formalisation of Micro Food Enterprises (MFE) with Rs 10,000 crore scheme is addressed in this part promoting PM’s vision of ‘Vocal for Local with Global outreach’.
- Who will be given weightage? The scheme will provide help to almost 2 lakh MFEs with focus on women and reserved classes (SC/ ST) owned units.
- How will it help? MFEs will be provided with technical up-gradation to attain FSSAI food standards along with branding and marketing. All the existing FPO, SHG and food enterprises will be supported.
- Cluster-Based approach (area-wise strategy) will be followed like bamboo fir north-east, chilli in Andhra and Mango in UP, etc.
- Benefits: This step will improve health and safety standards, integrate the MFE with retail markets and improve incomes along with reaching untapped export markets.
3. Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY)
- Context: Government has decided to provide fisherman with Rs 20,000 crore scheme. The scheme titled Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) will help in integrating, sustaining, and inclusive development of marine and inland fisheries.
- Where will be the fund used? Marine, Inland fisheries and Aquaculture activities will be allocated Rs 11,000 crore and Rs. 9000 crores will be allocated for Infrastructure such as Fishing Harbours, Cold chain, Markets etc.
- The scheme will also have provision for Ban Period Support to fishermen, Personal & Boat Insurance.
- Benefits: PMMSY will help to provide employment to over 55 lakh persons along with doubling of exports to Rs 1,00,000 Crore and additional fish production of 70 lakh tones for 5 years.
- Special focus: Islands, Himalayan States, North-east and Aspirational Districts are the focus areas under this.
4. National Animal Disease Control Programme
- Context: Rs 13,343 crore programme launched for 100% vaccination of 53 crore animals for Foot & Mouth Disease (FMD) and Brucellosis. The programme is named as National Animal Disease Control Programme.
- Who will be covered? Vaccination of cattle, buffalo, sheep, goat, and pig will be done in this scheme.
- Present case: Presently,1.5 crore cows and buffaloes are tagged and vaccinated.
5. Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund
- Context: Fund of Rs 15,000 crore is allocated to set up Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund to support private investment in Dairy processing, value addition and cattle feed infrastructure.
- Private investment will be encouraged.
- The units will be provided with incentives for the export of niche products
6. Promotion of Herbal Cultivation
- Context: In the context of atmanirbhar Bharat, herbal cultivation with an outlay of Rs 4,000 crore for the next two years covering 10,00,000-hectare land.
- 2.25 lakh hectare land has been provided by National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB) for medicinal plants. The board will also bring the 800-hectare area under this project along with the banks of Ganga.
- Benefit: This will result in Rs 5,000 crore income generation for farmers by providing regional mandis for medicinal plants
7. Beekeeping initiatives
- Context: Government is all set to implement the various scheme with a total outlay of Rs 500 crores for beekeeping activities. It will include infrastructural development, post-harvest facilities, standard implementation, traceability system.
- Special focus: Women will be at the special focus along with the capacity building.
- The scheme will also develop quality nucleus stock and bee breeders.
- Benefit: It will increase the income of almost 2 lakh beekeepers and will also provide quality honey to consumers.
8. Operation Green to be extended from ‘TOP’ to TOTAL
- Context: Rs 500 crores is to be funded to operation Green that is run by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MOFPI). Operation Green will be extended from TOP (tomatoes, onion, and potatoes) to all fruits and vegetables.
- What is included? This scheme will provide 50% subsidy on transportation and 50% subsidy on storage (cold storage also).
- Duration: 6 months and can be extended as per the requirement.
- Benefits: This will result in providing better prices to farmers, reducing wastages and enhancing the affordability of products for customers.
Administrative and Governance Reforms
9. Amendments to the Essential Commodities Act
- Context: Along with relief measures, the Government will amend the various activities to enhance the process of self-reliance. In this context, the Government is amending Essential Commodities Act (ECA) to enable better price realisation for farmers.
- What will be the changes? Cereals, edible oils, oilseeds, pulses, onions, and the potato will be deregulated along with stock limit at the time of exceptional circumstances like calamities, famines, etc. Also, no stock limit will be applied to processors or value chain participant for the export demand.
- Benefits: This will provide farmers with the best price of their products by attracting investments and will also enhance competitiveness in the agriculture sector.
10. Agriculture Marketing Reforms
- Context: Other than the ECA amendment, agriculture marketing reforms will be carried out to facilitate farmers with choices of market.
- What will be done? A central level law will be framed to provide the choices to the farmer so that farmer can sell their produce at a remunerative price; Inter-state trade without any barrier and e-trading framework of agriculture produce.
11. Agriculture Produce Pricing and Quality Assurance
- Context: Government will finalise the legal framework to facilitate farmers to engage with processors, aggregators, large retailers, exporters etc. in a fair and transparent manner.
- Benefits: The framework will mitigate farmer’s risk mitigation, assured returns and will be provided with quality products.
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