Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on May 15 announced the third tranche of measures under the Rs 20 lakh crore economic stimulus package.
The focus of the 11 measures announced today, under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, was on agriculture and allied activities.
Here are the key highlights from the finance minister's briefing:
> Rs 1 lakh crore fund to be created for aggregators, Farmer's Produce Organisation (FPOs), primary agriculture cooperative societies, for strengthening farm gate infrastructure. The fund will be created at the earliest.
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> A fund of Rs 10,000 crore for micro food enterprises (MFEs). The scheme will be executed with a cluster-based approach, and is expected to benefit around 2 lakh MFEs. This is one of the ways in which local value-added products can get a global outreach. The focus will be on women, SC/STs, aspirational districts.
> Rs 20,000 crore for fishermen under Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana. This will lead to 70 lakh tonnes of additional fish production in 5 years. The focus is on empowerment rather than giving entitlements, FM Sitharaman said.
> Need to ensure a 100 percent vaccination of all cattle, buffalo, goat, etc. Nearly 53 crore animals in India and foot-and-mouth disease has to be eradicated. Around Rs 13,000 crore will be spent towards this under National Animal Disease Control Programme.
> Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund of Rs 15,000 crore will be set up.
> For the promotion of herbal cultivation, Rs 4,000 crore to be allocated. Around 10,00,000 hectare will be covered in the next 2 years and will lead to Rs 5,000 crore income generation for farmers.
> Rs 500 crore for beekeeping initiatives being allocated, which will benefit 200,000 people in rural areas. In India, wax for all purposes are being imported. This can be stopped through this initiative.
> Operation Greens to be extended from Tomatoes, Onions and Potatoes (TOP) to all fruits and vegetables (TOTAL). Rs 500 crore for 'From TOP to TOTAL' scheme.> Government will amend the Essential Commodities Act to enable better price realisation for farmers and to make agriculture sector competitive.
Agriculture food stuffs including cereals, edible oils, oilseeds, pulses, onion, and potato to be deregulated. Stock limit to be imposed under very exceptional circumstances like national calamities, famine with surge in prices. No such stock limit shall apply to processors or value chain participants, subject to their installed capacity or to any exporter subject to the export demand.
> A central law to be formulated to provide adequate choices to the farmers to sell produce at an attractive price, barrier-free interstate trade and framework for e-trading of agricultural produce.> A facilitative legal framework will be created to enable farmers to engage with processors, aggregators, large retailers, exporters in a fair and transparent manner.