Agriculture World

Centre Will Seek NABARD's Help for Procuring Farm Produce in Jammu and Kashmir: Finance Minister

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the government will seek NABARD's help for procuring farm produce like saffron, peaches and walnuts from them, to ensure better prices to the farmers of newly created union territory. She said that the government wants to raise solar energy generation in the union territory of Ladakh, which is also cut out of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Through National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED), government has recently procured apples from the farmers of union territory of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).

Nirmala Sitharaman at an event organized by National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) said that "Now I'm ensuring that I will take the chairman of NABARD to J&K even if it's winter now because I want the next crop of saffron, peaches and walnuts and other agri produce of J&K to get that kind of support which through NABARD the central government can extend to Jammu and Kashmir."

NABARD Chairman, Harsh Kumar Bhanwala said after the event that  "Whatever responsibility is given by the government, we will do it". He added more by saying that NABARD will speak to farmers of Jammu and Kashmir and understand their issues, adding that efforts will be made to provide help farmers of saffron, peaches and walnuts. Both long-term credit and short-term credit issues will also be looked at.

Sitharaman further added, the government was focusing on the priorities of fishermen in the coastal and inland water areas."NABARD can focus on marketing of local nutrients in the coastal areas. It can work with the farmer producer organisations (FPOs) and self help groups (SHGs) in these areas to help increase nutritional input of the area, which could be well received in the wellness industry."

Additional secretary in the Finance Ministry Debasish Panda said that the government has taken different measures to promote financial inclusion and insuring un-insured and funding the un-funded. He added more by saying that the effort is to ensure that the banking services are available within 5 km of every villages in the country. Financial inclusion-led intervention over a short period of time has led to transformational and directional change, he added.

Panda said that Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan accounts have crossed 37 crore with deposit balance of over Rs 1 lakh crore. Out of this 53 per cent of the account holders are women and around 29.6 crore Rupay debit cards have been issued to these account holders.

With regard to insurance, he said that the government has launched flagship insurance schemes like Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) at affordable premium.

PMJJBY offers an renewable life cover of Rs 2 lakh to all savings bank account holders in the age group of 18-50 years for one year, which covers death due to any reason and Rs 330 per annum per subscriber.

Disability and accidental death cover, of Rs 2 lakh for partial/permanent disability to all savings bank account holders in the age group of 18-70 years and Rs 12 per annum per subscriber for one year was offered by PMSBY.



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