Hyderabad: NDA Government is taking several initiatives such as Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), Soil Health Cards for the welfare of farmers, said Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya here on Monday.
Speaking to media persons here, the Union Minister disclosed that Food Corporation of India (FCI) and National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) jointly procured 138,000 tonnes of the pigeon peas (Red gram) this year.
NAFED accounted for 90,000 tonnes procurement while the rest of the 48,000 tonnes were procured by FCI he said. Whereas during the last year the procurement was to the extent of 23,000 tonnes only, he added.
The process of procurement was launched on 8th December; it is for the first time such a large scale procurement is being done, he recalled. Year 2016 was declared as ‘International year of Pulses’, he said.
Dattatreya informed that the farmers in Telangana and other states have largely cultivated pulses in 2016-17 particularly Red gram, which is evident from the record estimated production of pulses for 2016-17 reaching 22.14 million tonnes 35 % more than the previous year.
However, due to surplus production, market price fluctuations are not fetching remunerative prices to the farmers. Food Corporation of India may kindly take procurement of these pulses especially Red gram on a large scale. Farmers are in distress.
He urged the Telangana State Government to come forward and help farmers who had sown pulses by enhancing the procurement. Also the state government should strive to bring more and more farmers under the PMFBY so that the kisans may get the intended benefit in the advent of any untoward incidents, the Minister reminded.
Out of the total 50 lakhs of farmers in Telangana, only 6 lakhs farmers were registered for the PMFBY till date. The Union Minister asked the State Government to focus on this scheme and encourage the peasants to join in the scheme.
The four ministries namely, the Finance ministry, the Agriculture ministry, the Marketing ministry and the Animal Husbandry ministry should also coordinate for the purpose, he opined. The state government must keenly implement the central schemes and work for the upliftment of the farmers, he said.
As regard to the proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, Dattatreya mentioned that it is one of the revolutionary act after independence. It would be the biggest tax reform also, he elucidated. GST mirrors the new generation reform ‘one nation- one tax’, Sri Dattatreya explained.
He lauded the decision to introduce GST as one of the farsighted decisions of Narendra Modi Government. With its implementation an uniform tax rate applies throughout India; thereby even the transaction rates get reduced, the minister added.
On 16th March the GST Council is again scheduled to meet to discuss the subject; afterwards the GST Bill would be tabled in Parliament, Dattatreya said. He hoped that the new tax system would come into effect soon. (INN)