Union Cabinet approves initiatives under Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan
The Union Cabinet has given its approval for the allocation of foodgrains from Central Pool to approximately 8 crore migrants and stranded migrants.
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved several initiatives under the Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan on May 20, 2020 including allocation of foodgrains to the stranded migrants, implementation of Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) and Extension of Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana.
Cabinet approves ‘AtmaNirbhar Bharat Package’ for allocation of foodgrains to stranded migrants
• The Union Cabinet has given its approval for the allocation of foodgrains from Central Pool to approximately 8 crore migrants and stranded migrants. Under the initiative, 5 kg of food grains will be provided per person for two months (May and June), completely free of cost.
• The entire initiative would require an estimated food subsidy of about Rs 2,982.27 crore. The other expenses including intra-state transportation and handling charges and dealer’s margin / additional dealer margin will account for Rs 127.25 crore. The entire amount is expected to be borne by the central government.
• Overall, the government subsidy will amount to Rs 3109.52 crore. The allocation is expected to ease the hardships faced by migrant labourers during the lockdown imposed to contain coronavirus pandemic.
Cabinet approves extension of Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana
• The Union Cabinet has approved the extension of Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana (PMVVY) for three more years beyond March 31, 2020 till March 31, 2023. The move is aimed at ensuring old age income security for Senior Citizens.
• Under the scheme, an assured rate of return of 7.40 % per annum will be in place initially for the year 2020-21 per annum, which will thereafter be reset every year. The delegating authority to the Finance Minister will approve the annual reset rate of return at the beginning of every financial year.
• The minimum investment under the scheme has also been revised to Rs 1,56,658 for pension of Rs 12,000 per annum and Rs 1,62,162 for getting a minimum pension amount of Rs 1000 per month under the scheme.
Cabinet approves Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana
• The Union Cabinet has approved the implementation of ‘Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana’ to bring about a Blue Revolution through sustainable and responsible development of the fisheries sector in India. The scheme will be implemented for years from the Fiscal Year 2020-21 to Fiscal Year 2024-25.
• The scheme comprises two components- Central Sector Scheme (CS) and Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) at a total estimated investment of Rs. 20,050 crore, out of which centre’s share accounts to Rs 9,407 crore, state’s share accounts to Rs 4,880 crore and the beneficiaries share amounts to Rs 5,763 crore.
• The Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) Component is further divided into non-beneficiary oriented and Beneficiary orientated sub components/activities.
• As far as funding is concerned, the entire project/unit cost under the Central Sector Scheme (CS) component will be borne by the central government.
• Under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS), the entire project/unit cost will be shared between Centre and State for the non-beneficiary orientated sub-components/activities. For the Beneficiary orientated individual/group activities, the centre/ state government financial assistance will be limited to 40% of the project cost for the General category and 60% of the project cost for SC/ST/Women.
• The ‘Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana’ aims to address the critical gaps in the fisheries sector and boost fish production and productivity at a sustained average annual growth rate of about 9% to achieve a target of 22 million metric tons by 2024-25. This will help improve the availability of certified quality fish seed and feed, traceability in fish and enable effective aquatic health management. It will also boost investments in the fisheries sector and increase the competitiveness of fisheries products.
Cabinet approves additional funding upto Rs 3 lakh crore to eligible MSMEs
• The Union Cabinet has approved additional funding up to Rs 3 lakh crore to eligible MSMEs and interested MUDRA borrowers through the introduction of the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS).
• Under the Scheme, 100 percent guarantee coverage will be provided by National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company Limited (NCGTC) in the form of a Guaranteed Emergency Credit Line (GECL) facility.
• A total amount worth Rs 41,600 crore will be provided by the Indian Government, spread over the current and the next three financial years. The scheme will be applicable to all loans sanctioned under GECL Facility during the period, from the date of announcement of the Scheme till October 31, 2020 or till an amount of Rs 3,00,000 crore is sanctioned under the GECL, whichever is earlier.
• The Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) aims to lessen the economic distress faced by the MSMEs and provide an incentive to Member Lending Institutions (MLIs) such as banks. Financial institutions and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) to increase access and enable availability of additional funding facility to MSME borrowers.
Cabinet approves "Scheme for formalisation of Micro Food Processing Enterprises"
• The Union Cabinet has approved a new Centrally Sponsored Scheme - "Scheme for Formalisation of Micro food processing Enterprises (FME)" for the Unorganized Sector with an outlay of Rs 10,000 crore. The expenditure will be shared by the centre and the states in a ratio of 60:40.
• Under the scheme, the micro-enterprises will get credit-linked subsidy at 35% of the eligible project cost with an upper limit of Rs 10 lakh. The scheme is expected to assist around 2,00,000 micro-enterprises. The scheme will be implemented over 5 years from 2020-21 to 2024-25 on a cluster-based approach.
• Further, seed capital will be given to self-help groups at Rs 4 lakh per SHG for the loan to members for working capital and small tools. A grant will also be provided to FPOs for backward/forward linkages, common infrastructure, packaging, marketing and branding.
• The move will increase access to finance by the micro food processing unit, increase in revenues of target enterprises and enable enhanced compliance with food quality and safety standards. It will also strengthen the capacities of support systems and help in the transition from the unorganized sector to the formal sector and encourage waste to wealth activities.
Cabinet approves auction of coal and lignite mines/blocks
• The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the methodology for auction of coal and lignite mines/blocks for sale of coal/lignite on revenue sharing basis and increasing the tenure of coking coal linkage.
• The bidders would be required to bid for a percentage share of revenue payable to the Government. The floor price shall be 4 percent of the revenue share and bids would be accepted in multiples of 0.5 percent of the revenue share till the percentage of revenue share is up to 10 percent and thereafter bids would be accepted in multiples of 0.25 percent of the revenue share.
• There shall be no restriction on the sale and/or utilization of coal from the coal mine. The move aims to make maximum coal available in the market at the earliest and enable adequate competition in the sector that will allow the discovery of market prices for the blocks and faster development of coal blocks.
• The higher investment in the sector will create direct and indirect employment in coal-bearing areas especially in the mining sector and will have an impact on the economic development of these regions.