Modi cabinet approves PM-PRANAM scheme and National Research Foundation

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Modi cabinet decisions: The cabinet meeting was held on Wednesday (June 29) under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In this meeting, the Modi cabinet took decisions related to PM Pranam Yojana related to farmers, sugarcane price and establishment of National Research Foundation.

After the cabinet meeting, Union Minister Anurag Thakur told that the National Research Foundation Bill 2023 will be brought in Parliament for the establishment of the National Research Foundation (NRF). Science and Engineering Research Board Act 2008 will be repealed.

What will happen in PM Pranam scheme?
The Center on Wednesday approved a new scheme PM-PRANAM to encourage states to promote alternative fertilizers and reduce the use of chemical fertilizers. Also decided to continue the existing urea subsidy scheme till March 2025 with an outlay of Rs 3.68 lakh crore.

In addition, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved an outlay of Rs 1,451 crore subsidy for promotion of organic manure. This took the total package to more than Rs 3.70 lakh crore. The CCEA also decided to introduce sulphur-coated urea (Urea Gold) for the first time in the country to address the sulfur deficiency in the soil.

After the cabinet meeting, Fertilizer Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said that the CCEA has approved the PM-PRANAM (PM’s Program for the Restoration, Awareness, Creation, Nurture and Improvement of Earth) scheme. He said that the objective of PM-Pranam is to save soil and promote sustainable balanced use of fertilizers. The scheme involves the participation of state governments.

Mandaviya said that under the scheme, the states which adopt alternative fertilizers will be incentivized with subsidy to be saved by reducing the use of chemical fertilizers.

What was the price of sugarcane earlier?
The government on Wednesday increased the Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) of sugarcane to Rs 315 per quintal for the 2023-24 season. FRP is the minimum price that sugar mills have to pay to sugarcane farmers.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said that the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs decided to increase the minimum price of sugarcane. For the session 2023-24, the FRP of sugarcane has been fixed at Rs 315 per quintal. In the last season, the minimum price of sugarcane was Rs 305 per quintal.

According to news agency PTI, Thakur said that the Prime Minister is always with the ‘Annadata’. The government has always been giving priority to agriculture and farmers. He claimed that the minimum price of sugarcane was Rs 210 per quintal in 2014-15. Now it has increased to Rs 315 per quintal in 2023-24. He described PM Modi’s visit to America and Egypt as historic.

Why is NRF being established?
The Union Cabinet on Wednesday (June 28) approved the proposal to set up the National Research Foundation (NRF) to promote research in the country. After the meeting, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said that a steering committee will be constituted to provide high-level strategic impetus to the activities of the proposed foundation.

Thakur said that it will have 15 to 25 eminent researchers and professionals as its members. PM Modi will head the steering committee. He told that an executive council will also be formed under the chairmanship of the Principal Scientific Advisor.

Thakur said that for this, 50 thousand crore rupees will be made available for a period of five years from 2023-24 to 2027-28. Out of this, 14 thousand crore rupees will be given by the Government of India while 36 thousand crore rupees will be collected from industry, public sector enterprises, charitable donations etc.

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