The government announced an allocation of Rs 15,000 crore to bolster India’s animal husbandry and livestock sector, or ‘pashudhan’, and an interest subvention of up to 3% to private players for setting up of dairy, poultry and meat processing units. With it, the country now also looks to ramp up export and dairy production as Prime Minister Narendra Modi continues to push for self-reliant Bharat and boosting exports.
The “Rs 15,000 crore ‘pashudhan’ program is opening for the first time for everyone. This will also help increase milk production and export and will also generate employment for lakhs of people,” cabinet minister Prakash Javadekar said in the cabinet briefing.
Today’s announcement is part of the Rs 21 lakh crore economic package that was announced by PM Modi to help the country tide over the coronavirus crisis, animal husbandry minister Giriraj Singh said.
India is the largest dairy producing country in the world and it is also the biggest milk consuming nation. The dairy sector has been pushing for protectionism and saving the interest of domestic dairy farmers for a while. Industry leaders such as Amul had also asked the government to not allow milk imports from countries such as New Zealand which are milk surplus nations. The government also has for some time been pushing to increase India’s dairy sector.
In the Budget 2020-21 as well, it had said that it aims to take India’s milk processing capability to double of the current levels. The country processes about 53.5 million tonnes, and the same will be scaled up to 108 million tonnes by 2025, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said in her maiden budget. This will also increase per capita consumption and milk availability. Announcements were also made to improve the animal husbandry sector as well.
Among other major announcements of Wednesday, the government has also approved 2% interest subsidy on Mudra loans of less than Rs 50,000.