The government has increased the MSP of Kharif crops to ensure high prices to the growers for their produce.
In a major relief to the farmers, the union cabinet today approved to increase the minimum support prices for all mandated Kharif crops for marketing season 2020-21. The government has increased the MSP of Kharif crops to ensure high prices to the growers for their produce, said Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA). The highest increase in MSP is proposed for nigerseed, followed by sesamum, urad, and cotton. Today’s announcements are seen in an extension to the measures announced under the ambit of Atma Nirbhar Bharat scheme. In another major announcement for the farm sector, the cabinet also approved the extension of the repayment date for standard short-term loans up to Rs 3 lakh to August 31.
The government said that continued benefit of 2 per cent interest subvention to banks and 3 per cent PRI to farmers, will help the farmers to repay such loans up to the extended repayment date of August 31 at 4 per cent per annum, interest without attracting any penalty. This will also help the farmers in avoiding travelling to banks for such renewal during the coronavirus pandemic period, it added.
Out of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s economic package of Rs 21 lakh crore, the government had kept aside Rs 1.63 lakh crore for the agriculture sector. Along with bringing major agriculture reforms, the government had amended the stringent Essential Commodities Act (ESA) to remove cereals, edible oil, oilseeds, pulses, onions, and potato from its purview. Also, FM Nirmala Sitharaman had announced that a new law is to be framed to give farmers the option to choose the market where they want to sell their produce by removing inter-state trade barriers and providing e-trading of agriculture produce.
Perks for street vendors
What comes as an unexpected gift for street vendors is a special scheme, PM Street Vendor’s Atma Nirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi), for providing affordable loans to street vendors. To help the standstill businesses to bounce back on streets, the government today announced a special micro-credit facility amounting to a total of Rs 5,000 crore that will provide them Rs 10,000 as initial working capital. The government expects more than 50 lakh street vendors to benefit from this scheme, the press release said. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had mentioned the woes of street vendors who had to shut their businesses due to the nationwide lockdown and had also announced measures to help them by giving cash in their hands.