COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

Live Updates to Follow

  • Focal Point: Agriculture
  • One lakh Crore for — Strengthening Farming Infrastructure; Cold Storage, Grain Storage, etc.; Funding Agriculture Infrastructure Projects at farm-gate & aggregate points.
  • Rs 10, 000 Crore for boosting local products for Global sale;Vocal for Local with Global outreach; Formalisation of Micro Food Enterprises
  • Rs 20,000 crores for Fishermen through Pradhan Mantri Sampada Yojana
  • 100% vaccination of livestock;National Animal Disease Control Programme launched
  • Animal  Husbandry infrastructure fund — Rs, 15,000 Crores
  • Rs 4000 Crores to promote herbal cultivation in India that aims to cover 10 lakh hectare under herbal cultivation in 2 years; Corridor of medical plants to come up across banks of Ganga
  • Rs 500 Crores for Beekeeping initiatives
  • 500 crore for improving supply chain of fruits, vegetables, etc.;Govt. extends Operation Greens from Tomatoes, Onion and Potatoes to all fruits and vegetables
  • Amendment to Essential Commodities Act
  • Farmers & Farmers getting adequate choice to sell their produce at attractive price: Central Law to be introduced;
  • Law to implement agriculture marketing reforms to provide marketing choices to farmers; law will provide adequate choices to farmer to sell produce attractive price

Refer to the past two days live updates below:

Read below the reliefs offered by the Finance Minister, with the focus being MSMEs:

LIVE UPDATES [14-05-2020] 

  • Focal point: Liquidity, Labour, Law and Land.
  • 6 Major steps for MSMEs
  • Collateral free Automatic Loans upto Rs 3 lakh Crores
  • 100 % credit guarantee
  • Additional Funds for MSME revival
  • Loans to be given till October 31st
  • Rupees 20 Crore for stressed MSMEs
  • 50,000 Crore equity to be infused for viable and potential MSMEs
  • New Definition of MSMEs — Investment can be upto 1 Cr and turnover upto 5 Crore
  • Global tender to be allowed upto Rs 20 Crores
  • Other interventions for MSMEs
  • Rs 2500 crores EPF support for businesses and Workers for 3 months
  • EPF contribution reduced for Business and Workers for 3 months — Rs 6750 Crores
  • Rs 30,000 crores liquidity facility for NBFC/HCs/MFIs
  • Rs 45,000 Crores Partial Credit Guarantee Scheme 2.0 for NBFC
  • Rs 90,000 CR liquidity injection for DISCOMs
  • Relief to contractors
  • Extension of registration and completion date of real estate projects under RERA; No individual applications needed; Suo Moto be done; Registered projects expiring on or after 25th March
  • Rs 50,000 crores Liquidity through TDS/TCS reductions till March 2021
  • Tax filing due date extended to 30th November, 2020
  • Pending refunds to charitable trusts and non-corporate businesses & professions including proprietorship, partnership, LLP and Co-operatives shall be issued immediately.
  • Due date of all income tax return for FY2019-20 extended from 31st July, 2020 & 31st October, 2020 to 30th November, 2020 and Tax audit from 30th September, 2020 to 31st October, 2020.
  • Date of Assessments getting barred on 30th September, 2020 extended to 31st December, 2020 and those getting barred on 31st March, 2021 will be extended to 30th September, 2021.
  • Period of Vivad se Vishwas Scheme for making payment without additional amount will be extended to 31st December, 2020

LIVE UPDATES [15-05-2020]:

  • FOCUS: Migrant Workers, Street vendors, Small Farmer, Self Employed, Traders, etc.
  • 9 Steps will be announced.
  • 14.62 crore person-days of work generated till 13th May 2020
  • 10,000 crore actual expenditure till date
  • National Floor Wage to be introduced
  • Re-skilling of workers
  • Universal minimum wages

Reliefs

  • Free food grain supply to all migrants for next 2 months [For non-card holders: 5 kgs of wheat or rice or 1 kg of chana]; State Governments to implement, Centre to borne costs
  • One Nation One Ration card to be implemented within 3 months
  • Affordable rented accommodation for migrants; Rental Housing Scheme;Migrant Workers / Urban Poor to have Affordable Rental Housing Complexes (ARHC): Government will launch a scheme under
  • Mudra Shishu Loans: Government of India will provide Interest subvention of 2% for prompt  MUDRA– Shishu Loans payees for a period of 12 months; Relief of Rs 1500 cr to MUDRA-Shishu loanees
  • Special Credit facility for Street Vendors: Easy access to credit; Rs 5000 cr Special Credit Facility
  • Middle Income Group with upto 6 to 18 lakh income group: Credit link subsidy scheme for housing to be extended till March 2021; 2.5 lakhs middle income families to benefit during 2020-21
  • To create job opportunities for Tribals /Adivasis-Plans worth Rs 6000 crores to be approved shortly under Compensatory Afforestation Management & Planning Authority (CAMPA) Funds
  • Rs 30,000 Crore additional emergency working capital fund through NABARD
  • Kisan Credit Card: 2 lakh Crore concessional credit for farmers; 2 lakh crore Concessional credit boost to 2.5 crore farmers through KisanCreditCards; Fishermen and Animal Husbandry farmers will also be included in this drive
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Patna High Court: A Division Bench comprising of Mukesh R. Shah, CJ. and Ashutosh Kumar, J. while hearing a petition seeking mandamus against State for implementing organic farming policy, observed that efforts on the same were underway and dismissed the petition holding that the nature of petitioner’s prayers were that of a roving enquiry.

The instant public interest petition had been filed seeking a mandamus directing the respondent to encourage farmers of the State to opt for organic farming in order to save productivity of the earth and environment. Further, the petitioner also sought the details of the expenditure incurred for encouraging organic farming in the State as well as of the allocated subsidy amount for organic farming disbursed in various financial years since 2007-08.

The court noted that the averments in writ petition admitted that the State Government had taken a policy decision of encouraging farmers for undertaking organic farming, and for the aforesaid purpose, budgetary limits had been fixed and subsidies had been offered. The petitioners had not raised any allegation of siphoning of funds or embezzlement of public money. Thus, the prayers made in the writ petition were more in the nature of fishing and roving enquiry from the respondents, which is impermissible in public interest litigation.

The respondent’s submission before the court was that even though organic farming, being a labour-intensive exercise, is much more expensive owing to production cost being higher and less yield being produced per hectare; but still the State was using budgetary allocation to make the farmers aware of the advantages of using/ manufacturing vermi-compost and green manure. Setting up of gobar gas units was being encouraged by providing subsidy to the entrepreneurs for the said purpose.

Further, the State also submitted list programmes which had been initiated and the budgetary allocation as well as expenses incurred on “Organic Corridor Scheme” project launched in the year 2017-18. As a part of first phase, organic corridors had been developed in villages adjoining National/State highways running by the side of Ganga river. The process for certification of fields after elimination of chemical residue was afoot. Lastly, the State submitted that it was planning to implement the scheme at a larger scale by 2022; and the entire process of converting agricultural operations to organic method being a long drawn process, it would take a while before the results are visible.

Having regard to the detailed submissions made by the State and vague prayers in the petition, the High Court observed that the State was making efforts to achieve the objective of organic farming by 2022 and expecting results in such a short time would be chimerical. On that observation, the writ petition was dismissed. [Bihar Rajya Kishan Sabha v State of Bihar,2018 SCC OnLine Pat 1808, decided on 09-10-2018]

NewsTreaties/Conventions/International Agreements

The Union Cabinet gave its ex-post facto approval for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Iran for cooperation in the field of agriculture and allied sectors. The MoU was signed on 17-02-2018 during the visit of President of Iran to India. The MoU provides for cooperation in the areas of agricultural crops, agricultural extension, horticulture, machinery, post harvest technology, plant quarantine measures, credit and cooperation. It further provides for cooperation in soil conservation and water management, integrated nutrients management, seed technology and agricultural marketing. Also, livestock improvement, dairy development, animal health and other fields as mutually agreed upon fall within the scope of the MoU. Cooperation will also be effected through exchange of experts, materials and information, exchange of trainees and scientists on study visits/training programmes, facilitation of relevant conferences and workshops and any other means as may be mutually agreed upon. A Joint Working Group (JWG) will be formed to monitor the activities carried out in fulfillment of this MoU, with the meetings (of the ‘JWG’) to be alternately held in India and Iran once every 2 years. The MoU will be initially valid for 5 years and will be automatically extended for a subsequent period of 5 years unless either party notifies the other party of its intent of terminating it.

[Press Release no. 1524411, dt. 14-03-2018]

CABINET