Government Schemes Current Affairs - 2020

Government approves operationalisation strategy for Operation Greens

Union Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) approved operationalisation strategy for Operation Greens. Operation Greens was announced by Union Government in Budget 2018-19 to stabilise supply of Tomato, Onion and Potato (TOP) crops. It is aimed at ensuring availability of TOP crops throughout the country round the year without price volatility.

Strategy comprises series of measures

Short term Price Stabilisation Measures

National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) will be nodal agency to implement price stabilisation measures. MoFPI will provide 50% of subsidy two components of transportation of TOP Crops from production to storage and hiring of appropriate storage facilities for TOP Crops.

Long Term Integrated value chain development projects

  • Capacity Building of FPOs & their consortium
  • Quality production
  • Post-harvest processing facilities
  • Agri-Logistics
  • Marketing / Consumption Points
  • Creation and Management of e-platform for demand and supply management of TOP Crops
  • Assistance and eligibility

The assistance under this strategy will comprise of grants-in-aid at rate of 50% of the eligible project cost in all areas, subject to maximum Rs 50 crores per project. Eligible organisations under it will include State Agriculture and other Marketing Federations, cooperatives, companies, Farmer Producer Organizations (FPO), Self-help groups (SHGs), food processors, logistic operators, supply chain operators, retail and wholesale chains and central and state governments.

Operation Greens

It was announced in Union Budget 2018-19 on line of Operation Flood to promote FPOs, agri-logistics, processing facilities and professional management. It aims to promote farmer producers organisations, processing facilities, agri-logistics and professional management. It also aims to aid farmers and help control and limit erratic fluctuations in the prices of tomatoes, onions and potatoes (TOP). It is essentially price fixation scheme that aims to ensure farmers are given the right price for their produce. The idea behind it is to double the income of farmers by the end of 2022.

Its major objectives are:

  • Price stabilisation for producers and consumers by proper production planning in TOP clusters.
  • Reduction in post-harvest losses by creation of farm gate infrastructure, development of suitable agro-logistics, and creation of appropriate storage capacity linking consumption centres.
  • Enhance value realisation of TOP farmers by targeted interventions to strengthen TOP production clusters and their FPOs,
  • Increase in food processing capacities and value addition in TOP value chain.
  • Set up of market intelligence network to collect and collate real time data on demand and supply and price of TOP crops.

PM launches Support and Outreach Programme for MSME Sector

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Support and Outreach Programme. As part of this programme, PM unveiled 12 key initiatives which will help the growth, expansion and facilitation of MSMEs across the country. There are five key aspects for facilitating the MSME sector. These include access to credit, access to market, technology upgradation, ease of doing business, and sense of security for employees.

MSME Outreach Programme

It aims to boost MSME sector it is one of important sector for major generations of employment opportunities. It will run for 100 days covering 100 Districts throughout the country. Various Central Ministers will visit these districts in order to apprise entrepreneurs about various facilities being extended to MSME Sector by Union Government and financial institutions. Under it, entrepreneurs will be encouraged to come forward and make best use of these facilities including access to credit and market, etc.

Under Access to Credit aspect of this porgramme, Government will launch 59 minute loan portal to enable easy access to credit for MSMEs. Loans upto Rs. 1 crore will be granted in-principle approval through this portal, in just 59 minutes. The link to this portal will be available at GST portal.

Government will give 2% interest subvention for all GST registered MSMEs, on fresh or incremental loans. For exporters who receive loans in pre-shipment and post-shipment period will get increase in interest rebate ranging from 3% to 5%.

All MSMEs or companies with turnover more than Rs. 500 crore will now be compulsorily brought on Trade Receivables e-Discounting System (TReDS). This will enable entrepreneurs to access credit from banks, based ontheir upcoming receivables. This will help to resolve their problems of cash cycle.

For access to markets for entrepreneurs, Union Government has taken number and now it is mandatory for public sector companies to procure 25 %t, instead of 20% of their total purchases from MSMEs. Out of the 25% procurement mandated from MSMEs, 3% is reserved for women entrepreneurs. It is mandatory for all PSUs of Union Government to be part of GeM.

For Technology Upgradation, Government will form 20 hubs and 100 spokes in the form of tool rooms will be established vital part of product design. For ease of doing business, government will establish clusters of pharma MSMEs. 70% cost of establishing these clusters will be borne by the Union Government.

For simplification of government procedures, the return under 8 labour laws and 10 Union regulations will be now filed only once year. Now establishments to be visited by an Inspector will be decided through computerised random allotment.

Air pollution and water pollution laws now have been merged, and henceforth under them single consent and will be required, besides return will be accepted through self-certification. Government has promulgated ordinance under which, for minor violations under the Companies Act, entrepreneur will no longer have to approach Courts, but can correct them through simple procedures. For Social Security for MSME Sector Employees, government will launch mission to ensure that they have Jan Dhan Accounts, provident fund and insurance.