The poorest of the poor have always remained the main focus of the governance principles applied by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Alongside, he has given top priority to the development of farmers and the farming sector and uplifting of women. His focus has translated into a large number of schemes that have had a transformative effect on the social, cultural and financial fabric of the nation.
In this paper, such schemes have been identified that can be of great benefit to the people of Punjab on the individual and community level. The intention is to create awareness so that maximum benefit can be accrued.
SCHEMES FOR THE FARMING SECTOR
Fasal Bima Yojana
The scheme envisages providing insurance coverage and financial support to farmers in the event of failure of any notified crop as a result of natural calamities, pests and diseases. The scheme covers all farmers who have been sanctioned Seasonal Agricultural Operations (SAO) loans (Crop Loans) from financial institutions. It is optional for non-loanee farmers. Policy can be purchased online.
In the first three seasons starting from 2016 the scheme has, with a gross premium amount of Rs.1804 crores collected from 35,22,616 farmers, settled claims to the tune of Rs.1703 crores by which 17,66,455 farmers benefited. State/central government insurance subsidy is three times the amount paid by the farmers.
National Agriculture Marketing (e-NAM)
E-Nam is an integrated portal for all crops wherein farmers can show their products online and traders can tell their price. It has a networking with Agriculture Produce Marketing Committees (APMCs), with one license issued for a trader being valid across all markets in the State. It helps farmers get the right price for their produce. It is a turning point in the agriculture sector. A study has revealed that farmers are getting remunerative prices through e-NAM Mandi, and transparency has increased, but, technological literacy and training are required to gain the benefits of this platform.
Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana
The scheme is meant to encourage skill development through various initiatives for agriculture and farmer training. It also provides training for youth entrepreneurs of villages in organic farming, tractor driving, irrigation. green house seed, cold storage etc.
DD Kisan is the first TV Channel dedicated to farmers. It gives correct and direct technical information to farmers including latest research and innovations. It was launched on 26 May 2015
Agriculture Mobile Apps
These Apps ensure that farmers have relevant farming information on their finger tips. “Pusa Krishi App” gives information regarding improved agriculture practices , variety of seeds and technologies. “Agri Market App” gives information about prices of crops and “Fasal Bima App” tells about crop insurance. “Kisan Sivudha App” gives information on weather, price, seeds, fertilisers, pesticides etc.
SCHEMES FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
Sukanya Samridhi Account
The scheme involves opening of a bank account in the post office or authorised bank branch for a girl child who is less than ten years of age by her parents. Legal guardians with a minimum deposit of Rs. 250 and maximum Rs 1.5 Lakhs per annum. The scheme matures when the beneficiary girl reaches 21 years of age and invites an interest rate of 7.6 percent. More money can be put in instalments till the age of ten years. It is meant to safeguard females and improve their living standards.
Till December 2022 there were upward of 3 .25 crore beneficiaries with deposits upward of INR 1,62 lakh Crore. The five states with maximum number of accounts are UP, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, MP and Karnataka
Under this scheme the Government of India is committed to provide a gas stove and free LPG connection to Below Poverty Line (BPL) families. On the call of the Prime Minister, nearly 2 crore families gave up their LPG subsidy.
As an impact of this scheme the LPG customer base in the country has more than doubled from 14.52 crore in April 2014 to 30.53 crore in April 2022. The sale of LPG has increased from 17639 TMT in 2014 to 28577 TMT in 2022 registering a growth of 62 percent.
Deen Dayal Upadhya Antyodaya Yojana
Also called the National Urban Livelihood Mission (NULM), the objective of this scheme is to organise women Self Help Groups (SHGs) and then provide them financial resources that can provide means of livelihood and support consistently so as to bring them out of the clutches of poverty.
FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE AND INSURANCE
Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana
The scheme facilitates the poorest of the poor to connect directly with the banking system of the country. It involves opening of bank accounts with overdraft facilities, insurance cover, credit services, credit card and RuPay debit card for all citizens of the country. It is the best tool for Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme of the government for payment of subsidies.
48.82 crore beneficiaries banked, ₹199,341.41 crore balance in beneficiary accounts; 6.55 lakh Bank Mitras are vdelivering branchless banking services in the country.
Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana
MUDRA implies Micro Units Development and Refinancing Agency. It envisages partnership of Public and Private Sector Banks for three categories of loans – Shishu (up to Rs 50000/-) Kishore (up to Rupees five lakhs) and Tarun (up to Rupees Ten Lakhs).
In the financial Year2022-2023, the number of loans sanctioned was INR 62310598 crore; the amount Sanctioned was INR 456537.98 Crore and the amount disbursed was INR 450423.66 Crore.
Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana
The scheme is designed to provide insurance cover for natural as well as accidental death. By depositing a sum of Rs. 330/- insurance is provided up to a sum of Rs. 200000/- (Rupees Two Lakh) for a period of one year.
The scheme had more than 38 crore beneficiaries of which more than 20 crore are women.
Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana
This is a specific insurance in case of death by an accident. Only Rs 20/- are required to be deposited annually and in case of accident a sum of Rs 2 Lakh will be given to the family of the deceased.
Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY)
PM-JAY is the world’s largest health insurance/ assurance scheme fully financed by the government. It provides a cover of Rs. 5 lakhs per family per year for secondary and tertiary care, and hospitalization across public and private empanelled hospitals in India. PM-JAY provides cashless access to health care services for the beneficiary at the point of service, that is, the hospital.
After its inception in 2018 the scheme, by August 2020, had issued 12.55 crore E-cards leading to 1.09 crore hospital admissions in 22796 empanelled Hospitals
Atal Pension Yojana
This scheme is for those people who are deprived of any type of pension facility. Such people can receive a pension of Rs 1000/- to Rs 5000/- per month by depositing a fixed amount. The government will contribute 50 percent of the premium amount and the pension will commence at the age of 60 years.
There are more than 2.15 crore subscribers to this scheme of which about one crore are women.
INDUSTRY, INFRASTRUCTURE AND HOUSING
Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban and Rural)
This is a “Housing for All” mission to increase home ownership among the eligible population. Potential first-time homebuyers can use subsidies on home loans for building, buying, renovating or making extensions to houses if they meet essential eligibility criteria. It envisages subsidised interest of 6.50 percent per annum. The segments are Economically Weaker Section (EWS); Lower Income Group (LIG) and Middle Income Group (MIG) I & II. EWS annual income must not be more than 3 Lakh. The criteria goes up to Rs 12 to 18 Lakh for MIG II.
Under this scheme, till date, 1.20 crore houses have been sanctioned loans and 73.5 Lakh houses have been completed. From a total envisaged investment of Rs. 8.28 Lakh crore, a sum of Rs. 1.15 Lakh crore has been released
Make in India
The initiative has the potential of converting India into a top destination globally for investment by global Industry and Multi-national Corporations. Thed initiative has completed 8 years, annual FDI has increased manifold. centre is focusing on key sectors like semiconductors and defence industry to achieve PM Modi’s vision of an ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat.’ The Modi Government will assist in reducing compliance burden and increasing Production Linked Incentive Scheme (PLI).
Foreign Direct Investment in India during the Modi government is upwards of USD 500.5 billion; 65 per cent more than the amount received in the 10 years of the UPA government.
Punjab , with its skilled leadership, spirit of entrepreneurship, good connectivity etc is a perfect destination of Make in India projects. Punjab’s local industry will be given preference in public procurement of goods, works and Services in accordance with Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India) Order 2017.
The above list is by no means conclusive or all encompassing. There are other schemes and initiatives like Skill India and Digital India that have transformed and continue to positively impact life and livelihood. The objective was to sensitise the people of Punjab to study the schemes and see how they can be benefitted.