Govt Announces Rs 23,000 Crore COVID Package Post New Cabinet Meet
Union Agriculture Minister Tomar also announced that Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMCs) will continue.
Shortly after the first meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's new Cabinet, on Thursday, 8 July, Cabinet ministers announced a slew of decisions, including a Rs 23,000 crore COVID package, and that Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMCs) will continue.
Following the meting, PM Modi also tweeted about the COVID package and the decisions pertaining to agriculture, taken at the meeting.
The Cabinet meeting was held virtually, and is the first since the revamped council of ministers was announced on Wednesday, 7 July.
PM Modi’s new Cabinet, overhauled on Wednesday, includes 30 ministers, while the council has a total of 77 ministers.
In the 77-member strong council of ministers, there are 30 Cabinet ministers, two Ministers of State with independent charge, and 45 Ministers of State.
WHAT DID THE UNION HEALTH MINISTER SAY?
The newly-appointed Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya announced a Rs 23,000 crore package to combat the aftermath of the horrific second wave of COVID-19.
Mandaviya further told the press that the fund will be used jointly by the Centre and state governments.
"Rs 23,000 crore package will be given to deal with the problems that occurred in the second wave of COVID. It will be used jointly by the Central and state governments."Health Minister, Mansukh Mandaviya
Mansukh Mandaviya, was also quote by ANI, as saying: "The limitation period is maximum (nine months). We have to get it done quickly. State governments will have to do it quickly. Our duty is to help the states in every possible way."
"We have to collectively fight against COVID-19," Mandaviya said.
He further informed that pediatric care centers will be formed in 736 districts and 20,000 ICU beds will be created under the COVID relief fund:
WHAT DID THE AGRICULTURE MINISTER ANNOUNCE?
Meanwhile, the Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar informed that the Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMC) will not be "done away with". Tomar also said:
"After the implementation of farm laws, APMCs will receive crores of rupees from the Centre's Infrastructure fund, which will strengthen them and will be useful for more farmers."
Further, the agriculture minister, in this regard, as per ANI, informed:
It was earlier said APMCs would be strengthened. Efforts will be made to provide more resources to the APMCs.
Rs 1 lakh crore allocated under Atmanirbhar Bharat to Farmers Infrastructure Fund can be used by APMC
APMC can benefit from the fund through loans, interest waivers etc.
Further, Tomar said that "even after new (farm) laws were introduced, the Centre had declared in Budget that APMC will be part of the Rs 1 lakh crore infrastructure fund".
The Union minister also appealed to farmer unions to end the protest and hold discussions.
"I want to appeal to protesting farmer unions to end their protest and to hold discussions. Government is ready for discussions. APMC will be strengthened."Union Agriculture Narendra Tomar
Tomar also announced that they are amending the Coconut Board Act in a bid to increase coconut farming.
"The Coconut Board president will be a non-official person. He will be from the farmers' community, who knows and understand the work of the field."
WHAT DID PM MODI SAY AFTER THE MEETING?
Tweeting after the meeting PM Modi announced:
"A new package of over Rs 23,000 crore has been approved to fight COVID. Under this, necessary arrangements like pediatric care units to ICU beds, oxygen storage, ambulances, and medicines will be made in all the districts of the country."
He also said that "important decisions regarding agriculture and farmers' welfare" were taken at the meeting.
"In order to empower the Mandis, arrangements have also been made for the use of Agriculture Infrastructure Fund as well as interest subvention on loans."
(With inputs from ANI.)
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