Cabinet Decisions Current Affairs - 2019
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Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved Agriculture Export Policy, 2018 with aim to double farmer’s income by 2022. Cabinet has also approved proposal for establishment of Monitoring Framework at Centre with Ministry of Commerce as nodal Department to oversee implementation of Agriculture Export Policy. It will also have representation from various ministries and departments and agencies and representatives of concerned State Governments
Agriculture Export Policy
It is aimed at doubling agricultural exports and integrating Indian farmers and agricultural products with the global value chains. Its vision is to harness export potential of Indian agriculture, through suitable policy instruments and to make India global power in agriculture and raise farmers’ income.
- Double agricultural exports from present US$ 30+ Billion to US$ 60+ Billion by 2022 and reach US$ 100 Billion in next few years thereafter with stable trade policy regime.
- Diversify India’s export basket, destinations and also boost high value and value added agricultural exports including perishables.
- Provide institutional mechanism for pursuing market access, tackling barriers and deal with sanitary and phyto-sanitary issues.
- Strive to double India’s share in world agri-exports by integrating with global value chain at earliest.
- Promote indigenous, organic, ethnic, traditional and non-traditional agri products exports.
- Enable farmers to benefit from export opportunities in overseas market.
Elements of Agriculture Export Policy:
- Policy measures
- Holistic approach to boost exports
- Infrastructure and logistics support
- Focus on Clusters
- Promoting value-added exports
- Marketing and promotion of Brand India
- Greater involvement of State Governments in agri exports
- Attract private investments into production and processing
- Research & Development
- Establishment of strong quality regimen
Union Cabinet has approved implementation of Shahpurkandi Dam Project on river Ravi in Punjab. It also has approved central assistance of Rs. 485.38 crore (for irrigation component) over five years period from 2019 to 2023. The project will be implemented by Punjab Government with central assistance. It will be completed by June 2022.
The total cost of this project is Rs. 1973.53 crore (Irrigation component: 564.63 cr, Power component: 1408.90 cr.) Out of this, Rs 485.38 cr would be provided as Central Assistance. Funding for central assistance will be made through National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) under existing system for funding of 99 Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana- Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (PMKSY-AIBP) projects under Long Term Irrigation Fund (LTIF).
This project will help minimising some of water of River Ravi which at present is going waste through Madhopur Headworks downstream to Pakistan. It will create irrigation potential of 5,000 hectares in Punjab and 32,173 hectares in Jammu & Kashmir on completion. Besides, Punjab will be able to generate 206 MW of hydropower.
Indus Waters Treaty was signed between India and Pakistan in 1960 for sharing of Indus waters. According to this treaty, India got the full rights for utilization of waters of three eastern rivers namely Ravi, Beas and Satluj. Bilateral agreement was signed between Punjab and J&K in January 1979 for construction of RanjitSagar Dam (Thein Dam) and Shahpurkandi Dam by Punjab Government. RanjitSagar Dam was commissioned in August 2000. ShahpurKandi Dam project was proposed on River Ravi. The Project was initially approved by erstwhile Planning Commission in November 2001 and was included under AIBP for funding its irrigation component. However, works could not progress much due to non-availability of funds on part of Punjab Government for power component and later interstate issues with J&K. Series of meetings were held bilaterally between both states as well as at Central Government level. Finally, agreement was reached between both states under aegis of Ministry of Water Resources in September, 2018.