Boosting liquidity for farmers will strengthen backbone of Indian Economy: Thakur

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New Delhi, May 15 (PTI) A series of measures announced by the government on Friday for improving infrastructure in agriculture and boosting liquidity for farmers will strengthen the backbone of Indian Economy, Minister of State for Finance Anurag Singh Thakur said.

'In these unprecedented times, Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government has undertaken various measures over the course of past two days to ensure that each strata of the society gets adequately equipped to deal with the ongoing situation prevalent due to COVID-19 pandemic,' he said.

The last two tranches of the comprehensive economic stimulus package of Rs 20 lakh crore witnessed measures to strengthen MSMEs, migrant labourers, street vendors, etc, he said.

'Today an array of measures have been announced for strengthening the food givers of our nation that are bound to benefit them and further propel the economy,' he said.

Sharing details, he said the new scheme to provide interest subvention at the rate of 2 per cent per annum to dairy cooperatives for 2020-21 and an additional 2 per cent per annum interest subvention on prompt payment and interest servicing will unlock Rs 5,000 crore additional liquidity, benefitting 2 crore farmers.

He also said that Rs 1 lakh crore for funding Agriculture Infrastructure Projects at farm-gate & aggregation points will add impetus towards developing farm-gate and aggregation point, affordable and financially viable post-harvest management infrastructure.

'In order to promote the vision of the Prime Minister of ‘Vocal for Local with Global outreach’, Rs 10,000 crore scheme for the formalization of Micro Food Enterprises (MFE) is of extreme significance. This scheme will be launched to help 2 lakh MFEs in attaining FSSAI food standards, building their brand whilst marketing the same for greater benefit.' Besides, he said, Rs 15,000 crore fund for strengthening Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development will contribute towards value addition and cattle feed infrastructure.

Similarly, Rs. 4,000 crore for promoting herbal cultivation will lead to Rs 5,000 crore income generation for farmers, he said.

'Each important aspect has been duly undertaken while drafting these measures in order to ensure that each one in the gamut gets benefited through the economic stimulus package,' he said.

For instance, he said, beekeeping is a great means of livelihood supporting activity in rural areas and has the potential to further expansion.

The Rs 500 crore package for beekeeping initiatives will increase yield and quality of crops through pollination and also provide honey and other beehive products like wax, he said.

This initiative will provide a thrust to women as primarily they are keenly engaged in this area and eventually lead to increase in income for 2 lakh beekeepers and ultimately ensure quality honey to the consumers, he added. PTI DP DP MR MR