Coronavirus: Rs 20,000 Crore Allocated For Fisheries In Centre's Coronavirus Package

The amount will address critical gaps in the fisheries value chain and will give employment to 55 lakh people, she said.

Nirmala Sitharaman announced one lakh crore for strengthening the farm-gate infrastructure (File)

New Delhi:

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday allocated Rs 20,000 crore to the welfare of fishermen under Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana, announcing the third tranche of the centre's stimulus package to cushion the adverse economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. She said the amount will address critical gaps in the fisheries value chain and will help provide employment to 55 lakh people.

"Under the Prime Minister Matsya Sampada Yojana (announced in Budget), Rs 20,000 crore fund has been allocated so that fishermen get financial support for increasing their produce and improve infrastructure. This will lead to an increase of 70 lakh tons in production in the next five years. It will also double the amount of exports," she said.

Out of the amount, Rs 11,000 crore will be used for the development of marine, inland fisheries and aquaculture, and Rs 9,000 will go into creating infrastructure like fishing harbours, cold chain and markets. This will double the exports to Rs 1,00,000 crore, she said.

The focus of the scheme will be to back fishing activities in islands, Himalayan states, north-east and aspirational districts, a press information bureau tweet said.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced a cumulative package of Rs 20 lakh crore, nearly 10 per cent of India's GDP, to help various sections of the economy battered by coronavirus lockdown.

Ms Sitharaman, who had revealed the first two tranches of the package which entail relief for MSMEs, farmers and small traders, today announced one lakh crore for strengthening the farm-gate infrastructure.

Ms Sitharaman also announced a cluster-based approach to promote the mantra of "vocal for local with global outreach".

"Financing facility of Rs 1 lakh crore will be provided for funding agriculture infrastructure projects and aggregators like Farmers Producer Organisation, agricultural entrepreneurs, primary agriculture cooperative societies etc," said the Finance Minister. This fund will be used for setting up cold chains and post-harvest management infrastructure.

A fund of Rs 10,000 crore has been set aside for Micro Food Enterprises, with a cluster-based approach of promoting state-wise produce - for instance, makhana from Bihar, Kesar in Jammu and Kashmir, mango in Uttar Pradesh, bamboo shoots in North-East, chilli in Andhra Pradesh, tapioca in Tamil Nadu and turmeric from Andhra Pradesh.

"Turmeric latte is a big thing these days and we produce a lot of turmeric," said the minister.