Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday announced Rs 1 lakh crore fund to boost agriculture infrastructure across the country. The fund will help to improve the farm-gate infrastructure for farmers, Sitharaman added. The financing facility of Rs 1 lakh crore will be provided for funding agriculture infrastructure projects at farm-gate and aggregation points including primary agricultural cooperative societies, farmers producer organisations, startups, among others. The fund will be created on an immediate basis, Sitharaman added. "Lack of adequate cold chains and post harvest management infrastructure in the vicinity of farm-gate has caused gaps in value chains," she added.
Sitharaman has been announcing the tranches of the Rs 20 lakh crore package announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this week. PM Modi had earlier announced a Rs 20 crore lakh package during his address to the nation on Tuesday, vowing to make the country 'atmanirbhar' or self-reliant. He said that this will be 10 per cent of the country's Gross Domestic Product or GDP. Sitharaman will be holding daily press conferences till Sunday.
The Finance Minister on Thursday announced a slew of measures for the farmers and migrant workers. Nabard will provide an additional refinance support of Rs 30,000 crore for emergency working capital funding that's expected to benefit 3 crore small and marginal farmers, Sitharaman said. The government will also give concessional credit worth Rs 2 lakh crore to 2.5 crore farmers through Kisan Credit Cards, she also said. Extension of interest subvention and prompt repayment incentive on crop loans due from March 1 to May 31 was also announced.
On Wednesday, Sitharmaan announced Rs 3 lakh crore collateral free automatic loan for businesses, including MSMEs. She also announced Rs 20,000 crore sub-ordinate debts for stressed MSMEs, which will likely benefit around 2 lakh micro, small and medium industries.