Agriculture

As told to Parliament (March 23, 2021): 40% more MGNREGS person days in 2020-21

All that was discussed in the House through the day

 
By DTE Staff
Published: Wednesday 24 March 2021

More than 369 crore person-days have been generated under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) during 2020-21 (as on March 18, 2021), Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, Union minister of state for rural development, said in Lok Sabha on March 23, 2021. 

The figure is approximately 40 per cent more than the number of person-days generated during the same period in 2019-20, the minister added.

Over 17.7 million new job cards have been issued so far in 2020-21, a 154 per cent jump from the previous fiscal, she said.

Around 110 million persons were provided employment so far in 2020-21, which is 39 per cent more than 2019-20, Jyoti informed the House.

Rise in agricultural operational holdings

The total number of operational holdings in India grew 5.86 per cent to 146.45 million in 2015-16 from 138.35 million in 2010-11, according to the latest Agricultural Census of 2015-16, Narendra Singh Tomar, Union minister of agriculture and farmers’ welfare, said in Lok Sabha on March 23.

The total number of women operational holders is estimated to be 20.44 million, he added.

Agricultural Census is conducted in India at an interval of five years and so far, ten have been completed, the minister told the House.

No support for ethanol-producing crops

The government does not give direct subsidy farmers cultivating crops that produce ethanol, claimed Raosaheb Dadarao Danve, Union minister of state for consumer affairs, food and public distribution in Lok Sabha on March 23.

In order to ensure the food security of the country, the government is implementing the National Food Security Mission (NFSM) in 28 states and two Union territories.

The scheme aims to increase production and productivity of rice, wheat, pulses, coarse/nutri cereals, commercial crops (cotton, jute and sugarcane), oilseeds and oil palm, the minister said.

MHA unaware of demand for natural disaster compensation

The Ministry of Home Affairs has not been informed about the demand of farmers to set up a fund for natural disaster compensation, Tomar said in Lok Sabha March 23.

The existing state disaster response fund provide relief to people, including farmers affected by the 12 notified natural calamities, he added.

Boost to health infrastructure

The government plans to set up 150,000 health and wellness centres (HWC) by upgrading sub-health centres and primary health centres by 2022, said Harsh Vardhan, Union minister of health and family welfare, said in Rajya Sabha on March 23.

The objective is to strengthen healthcare infrastructure for delivering comprehensive primary healthcare, closer to the homes of the people, especially in rural India, he added.

More than 70,000 HWCs are already functional and providing accessible, of which 40,634 became operational last year during the novel coronavirus diseases (COVID-19) pandemic.

Rise in non-communicable diseases

The trend of non-communicable diseases (NCD) such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and obesity is rising, said Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Union minister of state for health and family welfare, said in Rajya Sabha on March 23.

To tackle the challenge of NCDs, including cancer, 638 district-level NCD clinics and 4,464 NCD clinics at community health centre level have been set up, the minister informed the House.

89 deaths following vaccination

A total of 89 deaths have been reported following vaccination against COVID-19 as on March 16, 2021, Choubey told the Rajya Sabha on March 23.

None of the deaths so far have been causally attributed to COVID-19 vaccination as per the current evidence, the minister added.

No new strain of COVID-19 virus has been detected in Maharashtra, Kerala and Punjab, which are witnessing a surge in cases, Choubey said in Rajya Sabha on March 23.

Thermal plants flouting emission norms to be retired

Old thermal energy plants which do not meet new environment ministry emission norms within a stipulated timeline might be shut down by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), said RK Singh, Union minister of state (independent charge) for new and renewable energy and power, said in Rajya Sabha.

The CPCB will take appropriate action against defaulting plants according to provisions under Environment Protection Act, 1986. 

The National Electricity Plan (NEP) has factored in likely retirement of coal-based plants by 2027 and capacity addition for renewable energy production to meet the power requirement of the country, Singh told the House.

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