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JAM vision, will serve as the bedrock of many initiatives to come.  For me, JAM is about Just Achieving Maximum.

Maximum value for every rupee spent

Maximum empowerment for our poor

Maximum technology penetration among the masses

-Narendra Modi

67 years after Independence, India still had a large part of the population who had no access to banking services. This meant, they had neither any avenues for Savings, nor any opportunity to get institutional credit. PM Modi launched the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana on 28th August to address this fundamental issue. Within a matter of months, this scheme has radically transformed lives and futures of millions of Indians. In just over a year, 19.72 crore bank accounts were opened. 16.8 crore Rupay cards have been issued so far. There have been deposits worth Rs 28699.65 crores. A record 1,25,697 Bank Mitras (Bank Correspondents) have also been deployed. It also set the Guinness World Record for most bank accounts opened in one week -1,80,96,130.

While opening millions of bank accounts were a challenge, inducing a behavioural change to get people start using their bank accounts was another major challenge. The no of zero balance accounts have registered a steep fall from 76.8% in September 2014 to 32.4% in December 2015. More than Rs 131 crore has also been availed as overdraft so far.

All this was possible because of PM Modi’s thrust and his power of galvanizing masses and the government machinery. This enormous task was taken up in mission mode and achieved with an exemplary partnership and participation of the government and public.

While the bank accounts have given millions of Indians access to banking services, they have also played a major role in stopping corruption. Now, subsidies get deposited directly in the bank accounts in the form of direct benefit transfers, eliminating leakages and scope for any discretionary action. PAHAL Yojana, recently entered the Guiness Book of World Records for being the world’s largest direct cash transfer scheme. Under PAHAL Yojana, LPG subsidies are directly deposited into the bank accounts. Under this scheme, more than 14.62 crore people are receiving direct cash subsidies. This scheme has also helped identify and block around 3.34 crore duplicate or inactive accounts, helping save thousands of crores. Currently the Government is using Direct Benefit Transfers for around 35-40 schemes and approximately Rs 40,000 crores were directly transferred to the beneficiaries in 2015.

Once the basic banking facilities for people were in place, the NDA Government embarked on a historic move of providing an insurance & pension cover to the citizens. Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana provides accident insurance worth Rs 2 Lakh at just Rs 12 per year. Pradhan Mantri Jivan Jyoti Bima Yojana provides life insurance at just Rs 330 per year. Atal Pension Yojana provides a pension of upto Rs 5000 a month depending on the contribution. More than 9.2 crore people have enrolled for Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima & almost 3 crore people have joined Pradhan Mantri Jivan Jyoti Bima Yojana. Around 15.85 lakh people have registered for the Atal Pension Yojana.

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Empowering our Farmers
September 26, 2016
Comments 46

Empowering our Farmers

The NDA Government under PM Narendra Modi has put unprecedented focus on agriculture. Numerous initiatives to improve productivity, safeguard farmers and augment their incomes and improve their overall well-being have been taken in the past two years. The steps taken by the Government are helping the farmers in a multitude of ways; from easy availability of fertilizers to improving irrigation facilities, from crop insurance scheme to easy access to credit, from scientific help to better price for their produce. PM Modi has also given a call to double farmers’ incomes by 2022 by multi-modal interventions.

India faced consecutive droughts in 2014-15 and 2015-16. Yet due to the resilience of Indian farmers, agricultural production remained stable and so did supply and inflation. Total foodgrain output in 2015-16 is estimated at 252.23 MT while Total foodgrain output in 2014-15 was 252.02 MT. Ministry of Agriculture has been renamed as Ministry of Agriculture & Farmer Welfare. This reflects a paradigm shift in the vision, which puts farmer first. Allocation for Agriculture and Farmers’ welfare has been increased substantially to Rs 35,984 crore.

The Govt realises that agriculture needs to more predictable, productive and profitable. This needs a multidimensional approach to solving farmers’ problem throughout the entire cycle and hence the Govt has come up with solutions to various issues faced by a farmer.

Pre- sowing:

  1. Soil health Card to help farmers make the right choice.

The Govt has distributed 1.84 Cr. soil health cards. The target is to cover all 14 crore farm holdings & provide soil health card to all farmers.

  1. Fertilisers

Long queues for fertilisers are history now. The Govt is ensuring easy availability of fertilisers for farmers. Prices of fertilisers have also been reduced significantly. 100% Neem coated urea is available in the country. This will improve fertilizer use efficiency by 10 to 15 percent and thereby reduce the consumption of urea fertilizer.

  1. Finance

Govt approved Rs 18,276 crore towards interest subvention of farmer loans. This will ensure that a farmer pays 4% interest for short term crop loans, 7% for post harvest loans, 7% in case of natural calamity, against the market rate of 9%.

During sowing:

  1. Irrigation Facilities

Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana to be implemented in mission mode & 28.5 lakh hectares will be brought under irrigation.  Implementation of 89 irrigation projects under AIBP, which were languishing for a long time, will be fast tracked. A dedicated Long Term Irrigation Fund is being created in NABARD with an initial corpus of about 20,000 crore. 5 lakh farm ponds and dug wells in rain fed areas and 10 lakh compost pits for production of organic manure will be taken up under MGNREGA.

  1. Support & Guidance

Scientific advice in the form of sms and calls have been sent to crores of farmers.

After sowing:

  1. Pradhan Mantri Fasal Beema Yojna

The PMFBY comes with the lowest ever premium rate for farmers. The PMFBY comes with One rate for One crop i.e. Kharif crops: 2 %, Rabi crops: 1.5 %, Horticulture Crops: 5 %. There is no capping on premium rates & no reduction in sum insured, thus ensuring full protection for farmers. Since independence, only around 20% farmers have been covered under insurance till now.  PMFBY targets 50%  coverage in next 3 years.

  1. e-NAM

Agriculture marketing is administered by the States as per their agri-marketing regulations, under which, the State is divided into several market areas. This fragmentation of markets hinders free flow of agri commodities from one market area to another and ends up escalating the prices for the consumers without commensurate benefit to the farmer. e-NAM addresses these challenges by creating a unified market through online trading platform, both, at State and National level and promotes uniformity, streamlining of procedures across the integrated markets, removes information asymmetry between buyers and sellers and promotes real time price discovery, based on actual demand and supply, promotes transparency in auction process, and access to a nationwide market for the farmer, with prices commensurate with quality of his produce and online payment and availability of better quality produce and at more reasonable prices to the consumer.

Apart from the above measures, a multi-pronged approach has been adopted to augment farmers’ income. Efforts are being made to increase in farm income through support to allied activities like fisheries, animal husbandry and dairy products. 850 crore for four dairying projects - ‘Pashudhan Sanjivani’, ‘Nakul Swasthya Patra’, ‘E-Pashudhan Haat’ and National Genomic Centre for indigenous breeds. Rashtriya Gokul Mission launched to conserve and develop indigenous cow breeds. Fish production has increased from 95.72 lakh tones during 2013-14 to 101.64 tonnes during 2014-15 The fish production for 2015-16 is estimated at 107.9 lakh tones. The ‘Saving-cum-Relief’ component provided to fishermen during fishing ban /lean period of three months has been increased to Rs. 1500 per month under Blue Revolution scheme.

There has also been a significant increase in relief provided by Government. For the years 2010-2015, a provision of Rs. 33580.93 crore was made for State Disaster Response Fund. The same has been increased to Rs. 61220 crore for the period 2015-2020. A relief of only Rs. 12516.20 crore was approved between 2010-14 crore to the States affected by drought and hailstorm. The NDA Government in year 2014-15 alone approved an amount of Rs. 9017.998 crore as relief to the States affected by drought and hailstorm. During the year 2015-16, Rs. 13496.57 crore have already been approved for till now.