Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) will provide an additional emergency working capital funding of Rs 30,000 crore to farmers.
This, she said, is over and above the Rs 90,000 crore provided by NABARD through the normal refinance route during this year. The finance minister said that the additional Rs 30,000 crore will be immediately released.
NABARD will offer this working capital fund to meet the crop loan requirement of farmers via rural co-operative banks and regional rural banks (RRBs).
This will benefit 30 million farmers, which include small and marginal farmers.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
Under this scheme, Sitharaman said that front-loaded on-top facility will be provided to 33 state cooperative banks, 351 district cooperative banks and 43 regional rural banks based on their lending.
"This will meet the post harvest (Rabi) and current Kharif requirement in May/June. This will directly reach rural India and the small, marginal farmers," said the finance minister.
Sitharaman pointed to the inadequate financial resources available for the small and marginal farmers and added that RRBs and rural cooperative banks are the main source of credit for this category.
This scheme is part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat package announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 12.