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PM launches financing facility of 1 Lakh Crore under Agriculture Infrastructure Fund

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Delhi, 09 AUG 2020: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today launched a new Central Sector Scheme of financing facility under the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund of Rs. 1 Lakh Crore. The scheme will support farmers, PACS, FPOs, Agri-entrepreneurs, etc. in building community farming assets and post-harvest agriculture infrastructure. These assets will enable farmers to get greater value for their produce as they will be able to store and sell at higher prices, reduce wastage, and increase processing and value addition.

Today, only 30 days after Cabinet formally approved the scheme, the first sanction of over Rs. 1000 Crore was made to over 2,280 farmer societies. The event was conducted through video conference and was attended by lakhs of farmers, FPOs, cooperatives, PACS, and citizens joining from across the country.

At the same event, the Prime Minister also released the 6th installment under the PM-KISAN scheme of Rs. 17,000 Crore to nearly 8.5 Crore farmers. The cash benefit was transferred directly to their Aadhaar verified bank accounts with the press of a button. With this transfer, the scheme has provided over 90,000 Crore in the hands of more than 10 Crore farmers since its launch on 01 December 2018. 

Interaction with Primary Agriculture Credit Societies

Prime Minister interacted virtually with 3 Primary Agriculture Credit Societies from Karnataka, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh who are among the initial beneficiaries of the scheme. Prime Minister had an engaging discussion with the representatives of these societies to understand their current operations and how they plan to utilise the loan. The societies informed the  Prime Minister about their plans to build godowns, setup grading and sorting units which will help member farmers secure a higher price for their produce.

Address to the nation

Following his interaction with the Primary Agriculture Credit Societies, in his address to the nation, the Prime Minister expressed confidence in how farmers and the agriculture sector will benefit from the scheme. He said the scheme shall provide a financial boost to the farmers and agriculture sector and increase India’s ability to compete on the global stage.

Prime Minister reiterated that India has a huge opportunity to invest in post-harvest management solutions like warehousing, cold chain, and food processing, and build a global presence in areas such as organic and fortified foods. He also mentioned that this scheme provides a good opportunity for start-ups in agriculture to avail the benefits and scale their operations, thereby creating an ecosystem that reaches farmers in every corner of the country.

Prime Minister expressed his satisfaction with the pace of implementation of the PM-KISAN scheme. He also noted that the scale of the program is so large that the funds released today have reached more people than the entire population of several countries taken together. He also congratulated states for playing an important role in the implementation and assisting farmers through the entire process from registration all the way to disbursals.

The Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar, was also present on the occasion.

Agriculture Infrastructure Fund

The Agriculture Infrastructure Fund is a medium – long term debt financing facility for investment in viable projects for post-harvest management infrastructure and community farming assets through interest subvention and credit guarantee. The duration of the scheme shall be from FY2020 to FY2029 (10 years). Under the scheme, Rs. 1 Lakh Crore will be provided by banks and financial institutions as loans with interest subvention of 3% per annum and credit guarantee coverage under CGTMSE scheme for loans up to Rs. 2 Crore. The beneficiaries will include farmers, PACS, Marketing Cooperative Societies, FPOs, SHGs, Joint Liability Groups (JLG), Multipurpose Cooperative Societies, Agri-entrepreneurs, Startups, and Central/State agency or Local Body sponsored Public-Private Partnership Projects.

PM-KISAN

The PM-KISAN scheme was launched in December 2018 to provide income support by way of a cash benefit to all landholding farmers (subject to certain exclusion criteria) to enable them to fulfill their agricultural requirements and support their families. Under the scheme, the financial benefit of Rs.6000/- per year is provided to eligible beneficiary farmers in three equal installments.

A new dawn for the agriculture sector

These steps are the latest in a series of reforms taken by the Government of India under the guidance of the Prime Minister. These measures will collectively herald a new dawn for the agriculture sector in India and shows the government’s commitment to championing the cause of ensuring the welfare and sustainability of livelihoods for the farmers of India.

India

Akali Dal to submit memo to Punjab Governor on farm laws

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Sukhbir Singh Badal

Two lakh people will join three separate marches by farmers in 40,000 vehicles starting from all three Sikh religious ‘Takhts’ to Chandigarh on Thursday where the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) will hand over a memorandum demanding revocation of the recently-passed agricultural laws to the central government through the Governor of Punjab.

SAD Senior Vice President Daljit Cheema said while party President Sukhbir Singh Badal would lead the march from Sri Akal Takht in Amritsar, former Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal would lead the march from Sri Damdama Sahib at Talwandi Sabo and Prem Singh Chandumajra from Sri Keshgarh Sahib at Anandpur Sahib.

Giving details, the party spokesman said the march from Amritsar would travel via Jalandhar, Phagwara, Nawanshahr, Ropar, Kurali and Mullanpur before culminating in Chandigarh.

Cheema said while the March from Amritsar would start at 8 a.m., that from Talwandi Sabo would start at 8 a.m. and from Anandpur Sahib would start at 10 a.m.

–IANS

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PIL in SC seeking CBI probe in Hathras gang-rape and murder

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Supreme Court

A PIL was filed in the Supreme Court on Wednesday seeking a CBI probe or SIT investigation under a sitting or former Supreme Court or High Court judge in the gruesome gang-rape and murder of a 19-year-old Dalit woman in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras district.

The PIL has been filed by social activist Satyama Dubey and advocates Vishal Thakre and Rudra Pratap Yadav. The petitioners urged the apex court to pass appropriate order for a fair investigation – either by the CBI or the SIT under a sitting or retired judge of Supreme Court or High Court – and transfer the case to Delhi, as Uttar Pradesh authorities had failed to take certain actions against the accused.

The plea said the victim was first raped and then brutally assaulted, and according to a medical report, her tongue was chopped and her neck and back bones broken by the accused, who belonged to an upper caste. The victim succumbed to her injuries at Safdarjung hospital in Delhi.

The petitioner said on September 14, the accused persons raped and brutally assaulted the victim when she was in the fields to collect fodder for her cattle.

It also said that the police have said the victim’s cremation was being carried out as per the wishes of the family, which was not true, and the police personnel set fire to the body of the deceased, even as media persons were banned, as per the information received, said the plea.

The plea claimed the police did not perform their duties towards the victim, and were, instead, trying to shield the accused persons. “Because there was no arrest in this matter, the accused persons are moving freely and they have no fear at all… the family of the victim has been victimised by the upper caste persons and no action has been done by the authorities/police officials,” said the plea.

The plea has also cited the statement of the victim’s older brother, saying: “… I came to know about my sister being targeted by these men only when she recorded her statement. They told her if she didn’t submit to their ‘demands’, they would shoot her brother dead.”

The brother also added that the family was threatened when the victim was in hospital.

Source: IANS

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DJB water bill waiver extended till Dec due to Covid

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Corona-Virus

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the water bill waiver scheme of Delhi Jal Board has been extended by three months, till December 31.

“In wake of the pandemic, the water bill waiver scheme of the Delhi Jal Board has been further extended by three months and will now end
on December 31,” DJB Vice Chairman, Raghav Chadha, said in a tweet.

Director (Revenue) Paras Ram stated in a circular that the Chairperson Delhi Jal Board through an order dated September 23 has approved
extension of the scheme up to December 31.

The scheme involves waiver of 100 per cent Late Payment Surcharge (LPSC) amount and slab wise waiver on accumulated arrears depending on
categorization for House Tax in respect of all domestic (individual and bulk) and 100 per cent LPSC waiver for commercial consumers.

All revenue officers should give wide publicity to the scheme and ensure necessary action for raising bills as per scheme and wherever
possible, it added. The deadline has been extended several times before.

In August last year, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced a one-time water arrear waiver for over 13 lakh defaulting
consumers with functional meters in a bid to make consumers pay their pending bills.

The scheme will cover the consumers whose bills were pending till March 31, 2019. Under the scheme, 100 percent Late Payment Surcharge
(LPSC) waiver will be given to all the domestic as well as commercial consumers.

The rebate in principal amount will be on the basis of category of colonies. In Delhi, colonies are graded from categories A to H by the
municipal corporations for the purpose of imposing house tax. The E, F, G and H category areas will be completely exempted from paying the
pending bills till March 31, 2019.

A 75 percent exemption will be given to the consumers residing in D category areas. People living in C category will receive 50 percent
exemption while A and B category areas will be given exemption up to 25 percent on the water bills.

Consumers who will install the meter after the commencement of the scheme are required to submit an application intimating their Name,
Address, and document of meter installed to the respective Zonal Revenue Office. The form may be dropped in the “Meter Installation
Intimation Box” placed at the ZRO offices.

Source: IANS

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