Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday held her third press conference in as many days, as the Finance Ministry unveils the special economic package that is part of the 20 lakh crore relief measures announced by Prime Minister Modi recently. This tranche of the economic package dealt with agriculture, dairy and allied activities, and the Finance Minister spoke on the supply chain.
Here is the entire press meeting and what Sitharaman said summed up in 10 sentences:
1. In order to plug gaps in value chains, a Rs. 1,00,000 crore fund will be set up immediately to support agriculture infrastructure projects at farm-gate and aggregation points.
2. In keeping with PM Modi's idea for being '‘Vocal for Local', Rs 10,000 crores scheme to help Micro Food Enterprises get the technical upgradation necessary to attain FSSAI food standards and build brands.
3. The Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana will be launched to plug Critical gaps in fisheries value chain, and Rs 20,000 crores will be allotted for fishermen.
4. The National Animal Disease Control Programme with total outlay of Rs. 13,343 crores to be launched to ensure vaccination of around 53 crore domestic animals.
5. An Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund of Rs. 15,000 crore will be set up, and Rs 500 crores has been allotted for a scheme to support beekeeping initiatives.
6.10,00,000 hectare will be covered under herbal cultivation in next two years with outlay of Rs. 4000 crore.
7. With farmers being unable to sell their produce in the markets, the Finance Ministry has announced a Rs 500 crore pilot project under which 50% subsidy will be given to farmers for transportation and storage.
8. Sitharaman proposed amendments to the Essential Commodities Act to enable better price realisation for farmers and no stock limit should apply to processors or value chain participants.
9. In order to provide adequate choice to farmers to sell produce at an attractive price, a new central law will be formulated to remove barriers faced by them when it comes to e-trading and inter-state trade.
10. The government is looking to form a legal framework to help farmers fix their own fare price and export it by themselves, which in turn should ensure a rise in produce.