CABINET ANNOUNCES MONETARY SCHEMES FOR FARMERS, TRADERS
New Delhi . Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Union Ministers Nitin Gadkari, Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah, Nirmala Sitharaman and others during the first cabinet meeting, at the Prime Minister’s Office, in South Block, New Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi began his second innings in office by opening up purse strings for farmers and traders. In its first cabinet meeting after assuming office, the new government decided to extend PM-Kisan – the assured income scheme for all farmers and also announced a pension scheme for them. An additional two crore farmers are set to benefit by the PM-Kisan initiative that entails an annual pay out of Rs 6,000 in three installments. The PM-Kisan scheme will now benefit 14.5 crore farmers against the 12 crore beneficiaries targeted in February when the initiative was launched. The extension of the PM-Kisan to all farmers will cost an additional Rs 12,500 crore to the national exchequer, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said, adding that the decisions targeting farmers and traders were part of the BJP’s manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections. The cabinet approved a pension scheme of Rs 3,000 per month that will benefit five crore farmers. Under the voluntary and contributory pension scheme, small and marginal farmers will have to pay a fixed amount with the government making a matching contribution. This will cost the exchequer Rs 10,000 crore.
The Cabinet also announced a pension scheme for small shopkeepers, self-employed persons and retail traders with a GST revenue of below Rs 1.5 crore. “Under this scheme all shopkeepers, retail traders and self-employed persons are assured a minimum monthly pension of Rs 3,000 per month after attaining the age of 60 years,” I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar said, adding that it will benefit three crore shopkeepers and traders. The government announced a new initiative to control Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and Brucellosis to support the livestock rearing farmers. Under the initiative, the centre will take up a Rs 13,343 crore initiative for vaccination coverage to 30 crore bovines, 20 crore sheep/goat and one crore pigs at six months’ interval along with primary vaccination in bovine calves. The Brucellosis control programme will extend to cover 100% vaccination coverage of 3.6 crore female calves.