India is resurgent under Modi government, even under the global pandemic covid-19. While many countries are reeling under immense pressure, India is not only ably withstanding this crisis, but is daring to dream for a bright future. The government announced a gigantic reform package for the country to carry on once the pandemic recedes. This crisis proved that India will rise against any odds. Reflecting this, the package is also aptly named as Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced the concept of an ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ that serves as a massive stimulus package as well as a move towards making India more self-reliant in the post-COVID world. At 10% of GDP, Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan ranks among biggest in world.
COVID-19 offers a stark and memorable lesson that the development path humanity has been on was not designed for such shocks. The Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan (ANBA) policy announcements are important moves in meeting Gandhiji’s vision of individual self-reliance and keeping the economy afloat during times of crisis as well.
ANBA targets avoiding unemployment becoming hunger and illiquidity becoming insolvency. Provision made for Rs. 20,000 cr subordinate debt for two lakh MSMEs which are NPA or are stressed. The government provides sovereign guarantee for the support provided to the MSMEs. To provide relief to the business, a total liquidity of Rs. 3.0 lakh crores to more than 45 lakh MSMEs is provided in the form of additional working capital finance of 20% of the outstanding credit as on 29 February 2020. It is a Term Loan at a concessional rate of interest will be provided. This will be available to units with upto Rs 25 crore outstanding and turnover of up to Rs 100 crore whose accounts are standard. The units will not have to provide any guarantee or collateral of their own. Government will set up a Fund of Funds with a corpus of Rs 10,000 crore that will provide equity funding support for MSMEs.
As agriculture is the backbone of our country, Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan supports it in a big way. Financing facility of Rs. 1,00,000 crore will be provided for funding Agriculture Infrastructure Projects at farm-gate & aggregation points (Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies, Farmers Producer Organizations, Agriculture entrepreneurs, Start-ups, etc.).Impetus for development of farm-gate & aggregation point, affordable and financially viable Post Harvest Management infrastructure. Fund will be created immediately. A special drive to provide concessional credit to PM-KISAN beneficiaries through Kisan Credit Cards. Fisherman and Animal Husbandy Farmers will also be included in this drive. This will inject additional liquidity of Rs 2 lakh crore in the farm sector. 2.5 crore farmers will be covered.
The Government will launch the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana -PMMSY for integrated, sustainable, inclusive development of marine and inland fisheries. Rs 11,000 crore for activities in Marine, Inland fisheries and Aquaculture and Rs. 9000 crore for Infrastructure. This will lead to Additional Fish Production of 70 lakh tones over 5 years, Employment to over 55 lakh persons and double the exports to Rs 1,00,000 crore.
In addition, the structural reforms will be undertaken for unlocking the potential of Indian agriculture. The Government will amend Essential Commodities Act. Agriculture food stuffs including cereals, edible oils, oilseeds, pulses, onions and potato shall be deregulated. Stock limit will be imposed under very exceptional circumstances like national calamities, famine with surge in prices. Further, No such stock limit shall apply to processors or value chain participant, subject to their installed capacity or to any exporter subject to the export demand. A Central law will be formulated to provide adequate choices to the farmer to sell their produce at remunerative price; barrier free Inter-State Trade; a framework for e-trading of agriculture produce. Finally, The Government will finalise a facilitative legal framework to enable farmers to engage with processors, aggregators, large retailers, exporters etc. in a fair and transparent manner. Risk mitigation for farmers, assured returns and quality standardisation shall form integral part of the framework.
Caring about the poor and the neglected, the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan provides for them in a big way. For the migrant labour, additional food grain to all the States/UTs at the rate of 5 kg per migrant labourer and 1 kg Chana per family per month for two months i.e. May and June, 2020 free of cost shall be allocated. Migrant labourers not covered under National Food Security Act or without a ration card in the State/UT in which they are stranded at present will be eligible. Through One Nation one Ration Card, technology system to be used enabling Migrants to access PDS (Ration) from any Fair Price Shops in India by March,2021.
Central Government will launch a scheme for migrant workers and urban poor to provide ease of living at affordable rent. Affordable Rental Housing Complexes will provide social security and quality life to migrant labour, urban poor, and students etc.This will be done through converting government funded houses in the cities into Affordable Rental Housing Complexes (ARHC) under PPP mode through concessionaire. A special scheme will be launched within a month to facilitate easy access to credit to Street vendors, who are amongst the most adversely impacted by the present situation for enabling them to restart their businesses.
The Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan is a right intervention that is sorely needed for the nation at this time of unprecedented crisis. In fact, this package will ease the pain of over 90% of the Indians who suffered due to the uncertainty introduced by the covid-19. This also points to the fact that as long as the NDA government is in place, India can repose faith in it and stay assured that their lives are in the most committed government in India.
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