Central Govt. announced ₹1 lakh crore for funding agriculture infrastructure projects

Third stage of Rs. 20 lakh crore package

New Delhi – Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on 15th May announced the third tranche of the Rs 20 lakh crore economic stimulus package focussing on agriculture, dairy, animal husbandry and allied activities. The Centre will immediately create a Rs 1 lakh crore Agri-Infrastructure Fund for the farm- gate infrastructure for small and medium farmers, most of whom are marginalised. “A Rs. 10,000 crore scheme has been launched for the formalisation of micro-food enterprises (MFEs)”, Sitharaman said.

(Reference : Pragnya ias)

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman gave further details :

1. A Rs. 10,000 crore scheme has been launched for the formalisation of micro-food enterprises (MFEs). A cluster-based approach will be taken for unorganised MEFs to get technical up-gradation to attain FSSAI food standards.

2. For promoting herbal cultivation, Rs. 4,000 crore National Medicinal Plants Fund will be started to help 10 lakh hectares to be covered under herbal cultivation.

3. Rs. 20,000 crore has been provided for fishermen through Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) for the development of marine and inland fisheries.

4. Operation Greens have been extended from tomato, onion and potato to all fruit and vegetables by providing 50 per cent subsidy on transportation and storage of these commodities.

5. Rs. 15,000 crore Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund will be set up to support investment in dairy processing, value addition and cattle feed infrastructure.

6. National Animal Disease Control Programme has been launched with the total outlay of Rs. 13,343 crores for 100 per cent vaccination of cattle, buffalo, sheep, goat and pig population in India.

7. Government will also implement a scheme worth Rs. 500 crore for infrastructure development related to beekeeping. This would lead to an increase in income for 2 lakh beekeepers and quality honey for consumers.

Apart from these, the finance minister also announced amendments to the six-and-a-half-decade old Essential Commodities Act to deregulate food items, including cereals, edible oil, oilseeds, pulses, onion and potato.

The amendment, besides deregulating production and sale of food products, will provide for no stock limit to be imposed on any produce. A stock limit will be imposed only under very exceptional circumstances like national calamities, famine with a surge in prices.