Cabinet has approved PM-AASHA Policy for farmers

Cabinet has approved PM-AASHA Policy for farmers

The government has announced a Rs 15,053-crore procurement policy allowing states to choose a compensation scheme and rope in private agencies for procurement to ensure a remunerative price to farmers.

The new umbrella policy ‘Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay SanraksHan Abhiyan’ (PM-AASHA) was approved in the Cabinet meeting, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Features :-

  • The PM-AASHA is aimed at ensuring remunerative prices to the farmers for their produce as announced in the Union Budget for 2018.
  • Under the PM-AASHA, states would be allowed to choose from three schemes —
    ♣ Existing Price Support Scheme (PSS)
    ♣ Newly designed Price Deficiency Payment Scheme (PDPS)
    ♣ Pilot of Private Procurement Stockist Scheme (PPSS) , to undertake procurement when prices of commodities fall below the MSP level.

Money alloted :-

  • The Cabinet has sanctioned Rs 15,053 crore to implement the PM-AASHA in the next two financial years, of which Rs 6,250 crore will be spent this year.
  • The credit line for procurement agencies has been enhanced by providing additional government guarantee of Rs 16,550 crore, taking the total to Rs 45,550 crore.

PSS (Price Support Scheme) :-

  • Physical procurement of pulses, oilseeds and Copra will be done by Central Nodal Agencies with proactive role of State governments.
  • It is also decided that in addition to NAFED, Food Cooperation of India (FCI) will take up PSS operations in states /districts.
  • The procurement expenditure and losses due to procurement will be borne by Central Government as per norms.

PDPS (Price Deficiency Payment Scheme) :-

  • The government mentioned that the PDPS is on the lines of Madhya Pradesh government’s Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojana (BBY), but will protect oilseeds farmers only.
  • Under the PDPS, the government will pay to growers the difference between the MSP and monthly average price of oilseeds quoted in wholesale market. This would be implemented for up to 25 per cent of the oilseeds production in a state.
  • The price difference will be made to pre-registered farmers selling the produce in the notified market yard through a transparent auction process. “This scheme does not involve any physical procurement of crops and the central government will give support for the PDPS as per the norms,” the statement said.
  • Besides this, the states are given an option to rope in private players for oilseeds procurement on a pilot basis in eight districts.

Other important information :-

  • Under the new policy, the states will also have an option to choose the existing Price Support Scheme (PSS), under which central agencies procure commodities covered under the MSP policy when prices fall below the MSP.
  • The other existing procurement schemes being implemented for procurement of paddy, wheat and nutri-cereals/coarse grains as well as commercial crops such as cotton and jute will be continued for providing MSP to farmers. Under the MSP policy, the government fixes the rates for 23 notified crops grown in kharif and rabi seasons.

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