Giving a major boost to the pro-farmer initiatives of the Government and in keeping with its commitment and dedication for the Annadata, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has approved a new Umbrella Scheme “Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay SanraksHan Abhiyan’ (PM-AASHA). The scheme is aimed at ensuring remunerative prices to the farmers for their produce as announced in the Union Budget for 2018.
This is a step taken by Govt. of India to protect the farmers’ income which is expected to go a long way towards the welfare of farmers. Government has already increased the MSP of kharif crops by following the principle of 1.5 times the cost of production. It is expected that the increase in MSP will be translated to farmer’s income by way of robust procurement mechanism in coordination with the state governments.
Components of PM-AASHA
The new Umbrella Scheme includes the mechanism of ensuring remunerative prices to the farmers and is comprised of
- Price Support Scheme (PSS),
- Price Deficiency Payment Scheme (PDPS)
- Pilot of Private Procurement & Stockist Scheme (PPPS).
The other existing schemes of Department of Food and Public Distribution (DFPD) for procurement of paddy, wheat and nutri-cereals/coarse grains and of Ministry of Textile for cotton and jute will be continued for providing MSP to farmers for these crops. Cabinet has also decided that participation of private sector in procurement operation needs to piloted so that on the basis of learnings the ambit of private participation in procurement operations may be increased. Therefore in addition to PDPS.
It has been decided that for oilseeds, states have the option to roll out Private Procurement Stockist Scheme (PPSS) on pilot basis in selected district/ APMC(s) of district involving the participation of private stockiest. The pilot district/ selected APMC(s) of district will cover one or more crop of oilseeds for which MSP is notified. Since this is akin to PSS, in that in involves physical procurement of the notified commodity, it shall substitute PSS/PDPS in the pilot districts.
The selected private agency shall procure the commodity at MSP in the notified markets during the notified period from the registered farmers in consonance with the PPSS Guidelines, whenever the prices in the market fall below the notified MSP and whenever authorized by the state/UT government to enter the market and maximum service charges up to 15% of the notified MSP will be payable.
The Cabinet has decided to give additional government guarantee of Rs. 16,550 crore making it Rs. 45,550 crore in total. In addition to this, budget provision for procurement operations has also been increased and Rs. 15,053 crore is sanctioned for PM-AASHA implementation. The scheme henceforth is a reflection of Government’s commitment and dedication to our ‘Annadata’.
Besides, several other pro-farmers’ initiatives such as implementation of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana, Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana and distribution of Soil Health Cards have been undertaken. The commitment for farmer welfare is also reflected by unprecedented decision of announcing minimum support price based on the formula of 1.5 times the cost of cultivation.