The newly-constituted Union Cabinet of the BJP led NDA government took several key decisions in its first meeting on Friday. Among them were the extension of the existing PM-KISAN scheme and introduction of a pension scheme for farmers, traders and shopkeepers.
Following the Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a tweet, hailed the decisions taken by the new Cabinet and said that the initiatives will help the hardworking farmers and industrious traders of the country.
Here is a look at the various decisions taken during the meeting.
Bonanza for farmers
The government decided to extend PM-KISAN scheme to all 14.5 crore farmers in the country costing Rs 87,000 crore a year and also announced over Rs 10,000 crore pension scheme for 5 crore farmers, thereby fulfilling the BJP’s poll promise.
Announcing the two key decisions, new agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the Modi 2.0 government has announced the landmark decisions for the farming community in the first Cabinet meeting.
“The Union Cabinet has approved to extend the ambit of the scheme by including all land holding eligible farmer families under the scheme, subject to the prevalent exclusion criteria,” Tomar told reporters after the meeting.
The Rs 75,000-crore Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Siddhi (PMKSS) was announced in the interim Budget under which the government decided to provide Rs 6,000 per year (in three equal instalments) to an estimated 12.5 crore small and marginal farmers holding land up to 2 hectares.
“Now, the revised scheme envisages to cover around 2 crore more farmers increasing the coverage of the PM-KISAN to around 14.5 crore beneficiaries,” the minister said. He said total burden on the exchequer will increase by Rs 12,000 crore to Rs 87,217.50 crore for the year 2019-20.
Pension scheme for traders
The Modi 2.0 government approved a new scheme, which assures minimum monthly pension of Rs 3,000 to all shopkeepers, retail traders and self-employed people after attaining the age of 60 years. The decision will benefit 3 crore retail traders and shopkeepers.
Five crore traders are expected to join the scheme in the next three years, Union minister Prakash Javadekar said while briefing reporters.
“All shopkeepers and self employed persons as well as retail traders with GST turnover below Rs 1.5 crore and aged between 18-40 years can enrol for the scheme,” an official statement said. Cabinet clears pension scheme for traders. 3 crore retails traders and shop keepers to benefit from this move.”
Funds for ‘Prime Ministers Scholarship Scheme’ increased
The government also enhanced the amount to be paid as part of ‘Prime Ministers Scholarship Scheme’ under the National Defence Fund. The rates of scholarship have been increased from Rs 2,000 per month to Rs 2,500 per month for boys and from Rs 2,250 per month to Rs 3,000 per month for girls.
The ambit of the scholarship Scheme has also been extended to the wards of state police personnel who “were martyred during terror/Naxal attacks”. The quota of new scholarships for the wards of state police personnel will be Rs 500 in a year.
The Cabinet also cleared a special scheme for Control of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and Brucellosis. The diseases are very common among the livestock —cow-bulls, buffaloes, sheep, goats, pigs.