The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) had launched a massive solar-pump programme called PM-KUSUM in February this year. This scheme, though well-intended, has numerous drawbacks and is in need of reforms for it to be successful in the long run.
The Interim Budget 2019-20 placed a strong focus on the rural and farm sectors by introducing Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN), guaranteeing direct income support to farmers. This development has renewed the debate on the idea of a Universal Basic Income (UBI).
Recently, various state governments have announced farm loan waiver worth Rs. 850 million. This can negatively impact banks’ credit offtake (commercial loans) and cause further stress and amount to another agrarian crisis.
Recently, farmers from various regions of the country marched to Delhi to register their protest against the government’s neglect of farmers’ demands. Poor earnings of the farmers led to the never-ending distress in the agricultural sector and this resulted in the increasing number of farmer suicides. These worrying realities call for an appropriate policy response and sustainable alternatives to the current agricultural methods.
Minimum Support Price Scheme (MSP) for Minor Forest Produce (MFP) is a centrally-sponsored scheme launched at the end of 2013-14 (during the 12th five-year plan) to ensure fair and remunerative price to MFP gatherers. Known as ‘Mechanism for marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support Price (MSP) and development of value chain for MFP’, the scheme was planned as a social safety initiative for MFP gatherers.