The government unveiled another set of measures focusing on agriculture and allied sectors. Details of the third tranche of 20 lakh crore package announced by Nirmala Sitharaman:
Third Tranche- Credit Facilities for Farmers
Unveiling the details, Nirmala Sitharaman announced an additional Emergency Working Capital Funding of Rs 30,000 crore through NABARD. This would be an addition to the Rs 90,000 crore credit which is already being facilitated by NABARD to farmers. The scheme would benefit around three crore small and marginal farmers. Further, she said that the government would carry out an exclusive drive to provide Rs 2 lakh crore concessional credit through Kisan Credit Cards. The same would benefit 2.5 crore farmers.
For better price realisation to farmers, the government will amend the Essential Commodities Act, 1995. Nirmala Sitharaman emphasised that the focus will be on to deregulate the production and sale of food products, including cereals, edible oil, oilseeds, pulses, onion, and potato. Therefore, the imposition of stock limits will take place only in exceptional situations of natural calamity or a massive surge in prices.
Besides, no stock limit shall apply to processors or value chain participants. Also, the government will work on agri-marketing reforms to allow more choices to farmers for selling the product without any barriers. Besides, the government will set up a legal framework so that farmers can engage with processors, aggregators, large retailers, and exporters transparently. Further, the government will formalise micro food enterprises (MFE) with ₹10,000 crore scheme. The fund will benefit 2 lakh MFEs.
Strengthening Infrastructure, Logistics, and Storage
The Center has decided to allocate Rs 1 lakh crore of the 20 lakh crore package for agriculture infrastructure. This will be used for building cold chains and post-harvest management infrastructure. It will set up Rs 15,000 crore worth Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund for dairy processing, value addition, and cattle feed infrastructure. Not only this, but it will also provide Rs 10,000 crore to fishermen through Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY). That apart, the government has created National Medicinal Plants Fund worth Rs 4,000 crore for supporting herbal cultivation. Besides, the government has introduced a Rs 500-crore scheme for infrastructure development of apiculture.
In all, the steps may yield positive results in the future if implemented faithfully.