1. Agriculture World

Rural Agrarian Economy and MSMEs

Hitul Awasthi
Hitul Awasthi

Rural areas houses around 70% of India’s population. Thus, it becomes necessary for the government to chalk out policy and schemes for its revival amid slowing economy due to COVID-19 pandemic. Under the leadership of Narender Modi’s led NDA government, various measures are been taken by the centre and state agencies, so as to keep the economy moving. To sustain rural economy, Ministry of Home Affairs gave a notification to exempt agricultural activities from lockdown. With easing of restrictions and steps to reopen economy, certain important steps are being taken for safeguarding rural livelihood.  

Procurement of pulses and oilseeds continues during lockdown: 

Over 277 lakh metric tonnes (LMT) of wheat arrived during rabi season 2020-21, out of which 269 LMT has been purchased. 3.12 LMT of Gram has been procured from 9 states namely Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. 3.67 LMT of Mustard have been procured from Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Haryana and around 1.86 LMT of Toor has been procured from Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Odisha.  

A total of 3,208 designated procurement centres for Rabi pulses and Oilseeds are available across eleven states. 

Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi: 

During the lockdown period from 24 March, 2020 to present, about 9.25 crore farmer families have been benefitted and INR 18,517 crore has been released so far for this scheme. 

Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) to hand-hold local production: 

KVIC has geared up and issued a slew of guidelines to expedite the implementation of projects under PM Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP). It is in accordance with PM’s call of “Vocal for Local”. KVIC chairman, Shri Vinai Kumar Saxena has instructed concerned agencies to scrutinize applications under PMEGP and forward it to banks for disbursal of funds within 26 days. This will ensure maximum employment generation within a short time frame. 

To boost local production, it has been decided that at least one unit each pertaining to N95 masks, ventilators or it’s accessories, PPE kits, sanitizers, thermal scanners and agarbatti and soap will be set up in each district. This will help in meeting the growing demand for these items amid pandemic. Technical feasibility like availability of raw material, manpower, connectivity and electricity should be assessed before advancing of loans/funds. 

Revival of rural agrarian economy and MSME’s will not only boost the economy of country but will also sustain the livelihood of millions of people dependent on these sectors for their livelihood. 

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