As told to Parliament (February 5, 2021): More than 16 million new job cards issued in 2020-21

All that was discussed in the House through the day  

By DTE Staff
Published: Friday 05 February 2021

More than 16 million new job cards  had been issued during 2020-21, Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister of Rural Development told the Rajya Sabha February 5, 2021.

Some 100 million people had worked during the current fiscal crore, which was 30 per cent more than that of the previous year, he added.

The minister also stated that the Centre had enhanced the allocation under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) for 2020-21 to Rs 111,500 crore, from Rs 61,500 crore. More than 324 crore person days had been generated so far under MGNREGA.

Financial problems of farmers due to COVID-19

Sanjeev Kumar Balyan, Union Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying told the Rajya Sabha that the government was aware that farmers had been facing financial problems due to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in the country.

The minister said under the Prime Minister’s Atmanirbhar Bharat package for farmers, the Union finance minister had May 15, 2020 announced to cover 20 million new farmers under the Kisan Credit Card scheme to increase the income of farmers in the dairy sector across India, including Uttar Pradesh.

This would provide an additional liquidity of Rs five lakh crore in the hands of these farmers, suffering from the recent downturn of the economy.

Bird flu spread 

Avian  Influenza  among commercially reared and wild birds had been confirmed from 14 states / Union territories including Kerala, Haryana, Madhya  Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Delhi and Jammu & Kashmir, Balyan told the Rajya Sabha.

Animals affected by COVID-19

Balyan was asked as to whether any survey had been conducted regarding animals/birds affected by COVID-19. He replied in the negative.

However, test reports received from the Indian Council of Agricultural Research—National  Institute of High Security Animal Diseases of samples from tigers, leopards, bats, dogs, lions, etc, from different locations of the country, were found to be negative for COVID-19, he added.

Cold storage facilities 

The Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare had not conducted any survey for requirement of cold storage capacity in recent years.

However, the study on All India Cold-chain Infrastructure Capacity conducted by NABARD Consultancy Services or NABCONS reported that a cold storage capacity of 35 million tonnes was required against the existing capacity of 32 million tonnes, Rameswar Teli, Union Minister of State for Food Processing Industries told the Rajya Sabha.

Cruelty to animals cases

There were 81 cases pending in various courts where the Union of India was a respondent and 235 cases where the Animal Welfare Board of India was a respondent, Balyan told the Rajya Sabha.

But the Union government as well as the Animal Welfare Board of India was continuously working on updating the rules and regulations and to remove any lacunae in the law, he added. 

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