Nirmala Sitharaman Press Conference LIVE Updates: FM Says New Central Law Will Let Farmers Sell Produce at Best Price Outside APMCs, Announces Rs 1 Lakh Crore Agriculture Infra Fund - News18
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Nirmala Sitharaman Press Conference LIVE Updates: FM Says New Central Law Will Let Farmers Sell Produce at Best Price Outside APMCs, Announces Rs 1 Lakh Crore Agriculture Infra Fund

News18.com | May 15, 2020, 9:29 PM IST
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Nirmala Sitharaman Press Conference LIVE Updates: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday announced setting up of a Rs 1 lakh crore agri infrastructure fund for farm-gate infrastructure. This fund will be used for setting up cold chains and post-harvest management infrastructure, she said while announcing the third tranche of COVID-19 relief package. She also announced a Rs 10,000 crore scheme for formalisation of micro food enterprises (MFE).

The scheme will be launched to help 2 lakh MFEs by adopting cluster-based approach such as mango in Uttar Pradesh, kesar in Jammu & Kashmir, bamboo shoots in North-East, chilli in Andhra Pradesh, tapioca in Tamil Nadu. This fund would help in reaching untapped export markets in view of improved health consciousness.
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May 15, 2020 9:29 pm (IST)

Food Processing Industries Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal hailed the government's third tranche of economic package, saying it would help position India as a "world food factory". Badal, in a statement, said the new scheme for micro food processing enterprises, with an outlay of Rs 10,000 crore shall leverage the collective strength of farmer producers organisation (FPOs), Self Help Groups (SHGs), Cooperatives and existing food processing enterprises in unorganized sector. This will "position India as a world food factory," she said.

May 15, 2020 9:14 pm (IST)

Liberation Day for Farmers: Javadekar | "Today is liberation day for farmers," Javadekar said and added that it was a 70-year-old demand of farmers that they should get the choice of whom to sell their produce as they were bound so far to go to a particular agency. (4/4)

May 15, 2020 9:07 pm (IST)

Senior BJP leaders and Union ministers Prakash Javadekar and Ravi Shankar Prasad lauded the package. Prasad said all the decisions announced in the last few days as part of the Rs 20 lakh crore special package is aimed at "rejuvenation" of India during the COVID-19 crisis and have one recurrent theme, which is "compassion" for the poor and marginalised, farmers and the MSME sector, with an aim to empower them and turn the challenging time into an opportunity. (3/4)

May 15, 2020 9:04 pm (IST)

Welcoming the decisions announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, BJP president J P Nadda described the proposed amendments to the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, and the APMC Act, among other measures, as "far-reaching" agricultural reforms and lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi for these "very effective" decisions. "Today's announcements will hugely benefit farmers and enhance their incomes," he said. (2/4)

May 15, 2020 9:03 pm (IST)

BJP Hails FM's Announcements | The BJP on Friday hailed the finance minister's announcement for the agriculture sector, asserting that it is a "liberation day" for farmers who will now have the "right to right prices" as it will create an enabling environment for them to get best results for their produce. (1/4)

May 15, 2020 7:25 pm (IST)

The government will amend the six-and-a-half-decade old Essential Commodities Act to deregulate food items, including cereals, edible oil, oilseeds, pulses, onion and potato, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said today. The amendment, besides deregulating production and sale of food products, will provide for no stock limit to be imposed on any produce. Read More

May 15, 2020 6:30 pm (IST)

Yesterday the finance minister had announced the launch of ‘one nation one ration card’ scheme and said the Centre will also provide free food grains to those migrants who have no ration cards for the next two months as part of the second tranche of her economic package.

May 15, 2020 5:58 pm (IST)

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman addressed the third of a series of press conferences meant to outline India's efforts to reboot its economy that has been hit hard due to the coronavirus pandemic. Sitharaman, along with MoS Finance Anurag Thakur said that the measures to be announced today will focus on agriculture and its allied activities. Key Highlights

May 15, 2020 5:24 pm (IST)

Amendment to Essential Commodities Act to Ensure Better Price Realisation for Farmers

May 15, 2020 5:18 pm (IST)

Agriculture Marketing Reforms to Provide Marketing Choices to Farmers:

May 15, 2020 5:15 pm (IST)

"Agriculture Produce Price and Quality Assurance will be provided. Farmers lack an enforceable standard mechanism for predictable prices of crops at the time of sowing. The private sector investment in provision of inputs and knowhow in the agriculture sector hindered. Thus, facilitative legal framework will be created to enable farmers for engaging with processors, aggregators, large retailers, exporters etc. in a fair and transparent manner. Risk mitigation for farmers, assured returns and quality standardisation shall form integral part of the framework," says Sitharaman.

May 15, 2020 5:08 pm (IST)

Agriculture produce price and quality assurance

- Facilitative legal framework will be created to enable farmers for engaging with processors, aggregators, large retailers, exporters in a fair and transparent manner.

- Risk mitigation for farmers, assured returns and quality standardisation shall form integral part of the framework

May 15, 2020 5:03 pm (IST)

Measures to ensure better price realisation to farmers, reduced wastage and affordability of products for consumers.

May 15, 2020 4:46 pm (IST)

Measures to promote beekeeping initiatives:

May 15, 2020 4:45 pm (IST)

Rs 500 crore for Beekeeping Initiatives

- Beekeeping increases yield and quality through pollination
- Govt will implement a scheme for
Infrastructure development related to integrated beekeeping development centres, collection, marketing and storage centres
Implementation of standards and developing traceability system
- Capacity building with thrust on women.

These measures will lead to increase in income of 2 lakh beekeepers.

May 15, 2020 4:43 pm (IST)

Measures to promote herbal cultivation:

May 15, 2020 4:41 pm (IST)

Rs 4,000 crore for Promotion of Herbal Cultivation

- 10,00,000 hectare will be covered under herbal cultivation in next two years with outlay of Rs 4,000 crore
- Will lead to Rs 5,000 crore income generation for farmers
- Network of regional mandis for medicinal plants
- NMPB will bring 800 hectare area by developing a corridor of medicinal plants along the banks of Ganga

May 15, 2020 4:40 pm (IST)

Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund of Rs 15,000 Cr

- Many areas in country with high milk production have great potential for private investment in dairy.
- Aim to support private investment in dairy processing, value addition and cattle feed infrastructure.
- An animal husbandry infrastructure development fund of Rs 15,000 crore will be setup.

May 15, 2020 4:37 pm (IST)

National Animal Disease Control Programme

- National animal disease control programme for foot and mouth disease and brucellosis launched with total outlay of Rs 13,343 crore
- It ensures 100 per cent vaccination of cattle, buffalo, sheep, goat and pig population
- Till date 1.5 crore cows and buffaloes tagged and vaccinated

May 15, 2020 4:35 pm (IST)

Rs 20,000 Cr for Fishermen Through Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana

- Govt will launch the PMMSY for integrated sustainable, inclusive development of marine and inland fisheries
- Rs 11,000 cr for activities in marine, inland fisheries and aquaculture
- Rs 9,000 crore for infrastructure: Fishing harbours, cold chains, markets etc
- Will lead to additional fish production of 70 lakh tonnes over 5 years
- Employment to over 55 lakh people, double exports to Rs 1,00,000 cr
Focus on islands, Himalayan states, north-east and aspirational districts

May 15, 2020 4:28 pm (IST)

Rs 10,000 Cr Scheme for Formalisation of Micro Food Enterprises

- Scheme promotes vision of PM: "Vocal for local with global outreach"
- Unorganised MFEs need technical upgradation to attain FSSAI food standards, build brands and marketing
- A scheme will be launched to help 2 lakh MFEs attain above goals
- Cluster based approach 
- Expected outcomes: improved health and safety standards, integration with retail markets, improved incomes
- Will also help in reaching untapped export markets in view of improved health consciousness 
- Focus will be on taking advantage of strong production areas of states

May 15, 2020 4:23 pm (IST)

Rs 1 L Cr for Agri-infra Fund | The finance minister announces Rs 1 lakh crore for agri-infrastructure fund for farm-gate infrastructure for farmers. "Financing facility of Rs 1,00,000 crore will be provided for funding agriculture infrastructure projects at farm-gate and aggregation points. Impetus for development pf farm-gate and aggregation point, affordable and financially viable post-harvest management infrastructure."

May 15, 2020 4:19 pm (IST)

"During the lockdown period, the demand for milk reduced by 20-25%. A new scheme was announced to provide interest subvention at 2% per annum to dairy cooperatives for 2020-21. The scheme will unlock Rs 5000 cr additional liquidity, benefit to 2 cr farmers," says FM Sitharaman.

May 15, 2020 4:11 pm (IST)

"I will be announcing 11 measures today, of which 8 relates to strengthening capacity and infrastructure. The government will allocate money and we can quickly ramp up on these. The rest 3 will pertain to government and administrative reforms," says FM.

May 15, 2020 4:09 pm (IST)

Today's announcements will focus on agriculture and allied activities, says FM Sitharaman.

May 15, 2020 4:08 pm (IST)

LIVE | Listen to the finance minister's press conference LIVE on CNN-News18.

May 15, 2020 4:04 pm (IST)

FM's Press Conference Begins | FM Sitharaman's press conference starts to announce the details of the third tranche of the economic package declared by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday.

May 15, 2020 3:53 pm (IST)

The finance minister will address her third press conference shortly. Follow this space for LIVE Updates.

May 15, 2020 3:51 pm (IST)

The NFSA mandates free rations to targeted poor families but neither coverage under the act is complete nor is there an estimate of those additionally going hungry because of the current crisis. (2/2)

May 15, 2020 3:45 pm (IST)

Package for Migrants Inadequate Without Cash Transfers | How many Indians are going hungry because of the Covid-19 induced lockdown and how many of these are outside the ambit of the UPA-era National Food Security Act (NFSA)? In the times of a global pandemic, when the world’s harshest lockdown has rendered crores of migrant Indians homeless, jobless and hungry, the government doesn’t seem to have an accurate estimate of how many internal migrants are going hungry and whether all the poor intended to be covered under the NFSA are indeed being covered. (1/2) Read More

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Nirmala Sitharaman Press Conference LIVE Updates: FM Says New Central Law Will Let Farmers Sell Produce at Best Price Outside APMCs, Announces Rs 1 Lakh Crore Agriculture Infra Fund
Nirmala Sitharaman and Anurag Thakur addressing a press conference
Sitharaman has so far shared details of measures for small businesses, discoms, NBFCs and migrant workers. Today's press conference is likely to focus on the agriculture and fisheries sector, sources have said.

On Thursday, she had announced the launch of ‘one nation one ration card’ scheme and said the Centre will also provide free food grains to those migrants who have no ration cards for the next two months as part of the second tranche of her economic package.

The government has been facing criticism for its handling of the migrant crisis as lakhs still continue to walk back hundreds of kilometres to their home states as their income dried up because of the lockdown.

"There is a legitimate concern about migrants returning to their home states. We are attending to migrants, we are not boasting," the minister said.

Experts have said that while the announcement of free grains is a positive step, two months of support is inadequate. They also questioned why there is no cash component in the package.

The minister had also announced Rs 30,000 crore as emergency funding credit for farmers through NABARD and Rs 2 lakh concessional credit for Kisan credit card holders.

Although the Prime Minister had pegged the overall package at Rs 20 lakh crore, or 10 per cent of India’s GDP, the finance minister had on Wednesday avoided giving any details as to how the stimulus would be paid for, or even how much actual money would be spent.

India Ratings & Research said on Friday that there is very limited space for fiscal stimulus as the government's revised market borrowing of Rs 12 lakh crore is expected to be used largely for meeting revenue shortfall.

According to India Ratings chief economist Devendra Kumar Pant, the enhanced gross borrowings of Rs 12 lakh crore will largely take care of the revenue shortfall, leaving little space for fiscal stimulus, "unless the Centre sharply cuts the budgeted capex and reprioritises expenditure".

"This leaves very limited fiscal space for the government as the revenue shortfall accounts for as much as 95.1 per cent of the increased borrowings, leaving as little as Rs 20,000 crore for the government to provide fiscal stimulus," India Ratings & Research said.

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