Economy

Third tranche of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’: Agriculture sector gets ₹1.5-lakh-cr booster

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on May 15, 2020 Published on May 15, 2020

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman   -  Kamal Narang

FM proposes to remove 6 farm produce from Essential Commodities Act

To ensure ‘Atma Nirbhartha’ (self-reliance) at the grass-root level, the Government on Friday came out with a comprehensive package for agriculture sector including barrier-free inter trade of agriculture produce and taking out six ley agriculture produce from the ambit of Essential Commodities Act.

In the third tranche of measures for revival of the economy affected severely due to Covid-19 pandemic, 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.

Governance Reforms

Sitharaman said that a central law has been proposed to facilitate adequate choices to the farmer to sell produce at an attractive price, barrier-free Inter-State Trade and framework for e-trading of agriculture produce. As on date restriction on farmers to sell their produce in local Agriculture Produce Market Committee authorised mandi makes it challenging to get a better price which proposed law intends to remove.

When asked about the possibility of central law for the marketing of agriculture produce as State’s subject, the Minister informed that interstate trade falls in Central list so that legislation can be made. Supplementing this, Economic Affairs Secretary Tarun Bajaj said for any subject in the concurrent list, central law will prevail over state law, and here some issues are in the concurrent list so that Centre can make a law.

Another major reform is related to an amendment in the Essential Commodities Act 1955 to take out Agriculture foodstuffs including cereals, edible oils, oilseeds, pulses, onions and potato from its ambit. It means no requirement of stock limit in normal circumstances. However, Sitharaman said that it could be imposed under very exceptional circumstances like national calamities, famine with the surge in prices. However, it will not apply to processors or value chain participant, subject to their installed capacity or any exporter subject to the export demand.

The third reform is related to preparing a legal framework to enable farmers for engaging with processors, aggregators, large retailers, exporters etc. fairly and transparently for better price realisation. Such a structure will also help in risk mitigation for farmers, assured returns and quality standardisation.

Support for Agri and allied activities Infrastructure

NABARD will facilitate Rs 1 lakh crore finance for funding Agriculture Infrastructure Projects at farm-gate & aggregation points (Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies, Farmers Producer Organisations, Agriculture entrepreneurs, Startups, etc.). Another measure talks about Rs 10,000 crore scheme for the formalisation of Micro Food Enterprises (MFE). This will help nearly 2 lakh MFEs to achieve technical up-gradation to attain FSSAI food standards, build brands and marketing.

Sitharaman informed that such units would promote vocal for local with global outreach with a cluster-based approach. Produce such as Makhana in Bihar, Mango in UP, Kesar in J&K, Bamboo shoots in North-East, Chilli in Andhra Pradesh, Tapioca in Tamil Nadu etc. will get support for the domestic and global market.

For the fishing industry

Finance Minister informed allocation of Rs 20,000 crore for fishermen through Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY). This will include Rs 11,000 r for activities in marine, inland fisheries and aquaculture while Rs. 9000 crore to be spent on developing fishing Harbours, cold chain, markets etc. She said that the new scheme is estimated to have additional fish production of 70 lakh tonnes over five years, generate employment to over 55 lakh persons and help in doubling exports to Rs 1 lakh crore.

 

 

Published on May 15, 2020

A letter from the Editor


Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
  1. Comments will be moderated by The Hindu Business Line editorial team.
  2. Comments that are abusive, personal, incendiary or irrelevant cannot be published.
  3. Please write complete sentences. Do not type comments in all capital letters, or in all lower case letters, or using abbreviated text. (example: u cannot substitute for you, d is not 'the', n is not 'and').
  4. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.
  5. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name, to avoid rejection.
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.