Policy

Allocating more funds for foodgrains will help farmers

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on June 29, 2021

The PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana scheme has been extended till November 2021

Experts on Monday welcomed the Finance Minister’s announcement of financial assistance to farmers and consumers through increased fertiliser subsidies and allocating more funds for distributing free foodgrains to poor people in the country under the PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY), which has been extended for another five months till November 2021.

“The PMGKAY is a good move by the government. It is a good tool in the hands of the government to alleviate the challenges being faced by a large section of our population,” said Siraj Chaudhry, MD and CEO of National Commodities Management Services Limited (NCML), said.

Nirmala Sithraman said the government would set aside ₹93,869 crore this fiscal for executing PMGKAY scheme.

Giving to the needy

As it is well known, India’s foodgrain procurement is at an all-time high now. Now that the government has procured these grains incurring a cost to the exchequer it makes sense to give it to the needy. If the government hasn’t had procured it, it could have given cash in the hands of people. The distribution of the grains to people would also help the government reduce the carrying cost of these grains for another 12 months, Chaudhry said.

The farmers too would benefit as the government would have to procure more again next year, the NCML chief said.

Chaudhry also welcomed the government move to promote bio-fortified crop varieties. He said till now fortification was being done with the help of industry such as fortified edible oils. He said he is all for bio-fortified crops but the government should procure them from farmers and distribute among the poorest of poor through PDS so that their nutritional security can be taken care of, Chaudhry said.

Meanwhile, Satish Chandra, Director General of Fertiliser Association of India, said he would welcome the additional fertiliser subsidy of ₹14,775 crore to protect farmers from the increased price of potassic and phosphatic fertilisers.

“With this, farmers are fully protected against (fertiliser) price hike. The government has taken upon itself the burden and absorbed the increase in the global prices of raw materials required for producing these fertilisers,” Chandra said.

Published on June 28, 2021

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