U’khand cabinet approves logistics policy, free textbook scheme
In an attempt to give an impetus to the development of the State, the Uttarakhand government has decided to develop the State on the basis of the hub spoke model. For this the State cabinet in its meeting approved the Uttarakhand Logistics Policy- 2022.
The meeting was chaired by the chief minister Puskhar Singh Dhami. Informing about the cabinet decisions, secretary Shailesh Bagauli said that the objective of the new policy is to set up a simple, active and responsible system under which new inland container depots, cold storage and other logistics infrastructure would be constructed, developed and connected with road and railways. The hub spoke logistic model would help in strengthening the economic relations between the plain and mountainous areas so that benefits of the commercial value chains are achieved. The policy would also promote private investment in the State by developing forward and backward linkages. The existing warehouses would be upgraded and handholding would be provided to the new logistic operators under the new policy. In another decision the cabinet approved the proposal to extend the benefit of free textbook scheme to all the students of classes IX to XII enrolled in the government and the aided schools of the State from the next academic session. In another decision, the cabinet gave its approval to the Uttarakhand State parking policy (site selection, construction and operation) – 2022.
The disabled persons in the State would also receive the benefit of 25 per cent rebate in the stamp duty for mutation of the properties up to Rs 25 lakh. At present this rebate is provided to the women of the State.
Zelenskyy and the spirit of Ukraine are ‘Time’ magazine’s 2022 Person of the Year
Time magazine named President Volodymyr Zelensky as well as “the spirit of Ukraine” as its 2022 person of the year, for the resistance the country has shown in the face of Russia’s invasion. Zelensky shares the 2022 title with “the spirit of Ukraine,” which Felsenthal said was embodied by the “countless individuals inside and outside the country” who fought behind the scenes, including everyday people such as chefs and surgeons.
To implement the budget announcement 2020-21, a Committee was constituted on Kisan Rail and Krishi Udan. The Committee constituted a sub-committee for detailed deliberation and preparation of concept note under convenership of Executive Director, Railway Board.
Ministry of Railways after due deliberation with Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare has started operating Kisan Special Trains for transportation of perishable horticulture / agriculture products, dairy, fisheries etc. These trains are multi-commodity, multi-consignor/consignee services, running in a time-tabled manner with stoppages at all major stations.
The first Kisan Rail was flagged off from Devlali (Maharashtra) to Danapur (Bihar) by Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, Hon’ble Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare and Shri Piyush Goyal, then Hon’ble Minister of Railways, Commerce & Industry on 7th August 2020, for transportation of perishable agriculture/horticulture products, dairy, fisheries etc.
Currently, a total of 2359 trips of Kisan Rail trains have been operated on 167 routes, wherein nearly 7.9 lakh tones of consignments have been transported.
The routes for Kisan Rail are decided on demand received from farmers and other stakeholders. Whenever a demand for Kisan Rail for a particular route is received, arrangements are made by the concerned Zonal Railway for supply for rakes and operation of Kisan Rail train, duly considering the operational feasibility of the proposed route.
Agriculture Infrastructure gap
In order to bridge the Agriculture Infrastructure gap by empowering agriculture and villages and boosting private investment, the Government of India launched a Central Sector Scheme of financing facility under ‘Agriculture Infrastructure Fund’. The Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF) is a medium-long term debt financing facility through interest subvention and credit guarantee support on loans for investment in viable projects for post-harvest management infrastructure and community farming assets.
Under the scheme, Rs. 1 Lakh Crore will be provided by banks and financial institutions as loans with interest subvention of 3% per annum and credit guarantee coverage under CGTMSE for loans up to Rs. 2 Crores to the eligible beneficiaries include farmers, FPOs, PACS, Marketing Cooperative Societies, SHGs, Joint Liability Groups (JLG), Multipurpose Cooperative Societies, Agri-entrepreneurs, Start-ups, and Central/State agency or Local Body sponsored Public-Private Partnership Projects for creation of post-harvest management infrastructures like Supply chain services including e-marketing platforms, Warehouses, Silos, Pack houses, Assaying units, Sorting & grading units, Cold chains, Logistics facilities, Primary processing centres, Ripening Chambers etc.
Community farming assets eligible under Agri Infra Fund includes: Organic inputs production, Bio stimulant production units, Infrastructure for smart and precision agriculture, Projects identified for providing supply chain infrastructure for clusters of crops including export clusters, Projects promoted by Central/State/Local Governments or their agencies under PPP for building community farming assets or post-harvest management projects.