NEW DELHI: Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday approved a scheme under which the central government will provide drones to as many as 15,000 Women’s Self Help Groups over the next four years.
These drones will be provided during 2023-24 and 2025-2026. The SHGs would be able to provide those drones as rental services to farmers for agricultural uses.
The estimated capital outlay for the scheme is pegged at Rs 1,261 crore over the next four years.
A central government assistance, 80 per cent of the cost of the drone and accessories/ancillary charges up to a maximum of Rs 8 lakh would be provided, the director general of PIB posted on his X timeline after if was announced by the Union minister Anurag Thakur at a press conference.
“This scheme is important as part of PM Modi’s ‘lakhpati didi’ initiative. Drones play a key role in the services sector. There are about 10 crore women who are part of some Self Help Groups. Through this drone scheme, it has been ensured that they use technology in farming…drones will improve efficiency in spraying fertilisers and pesticides,” Union minister Anurag Thakur told media persons.
Also, a five-day mandatory drone pilot training and additional 10-day training for agriculture purposes of nutrient and pesticide application are to be provided to one member of SHGs.
Also, the Union cabinet today approved that the Central government will provide free grains to eligible citizens under the public distribution scheme for another five years.
The PM Garib Kalyan Yojana was initially started during the start of the Covid pandemic, where ration card holders were entitled to receive an additional five kg grains (wheat or rice of individual’s choice). Also, Chana was also being provided as part of the additional food distribution programme.
The centre’s intention to extend the PM Garib Kalyan Yojana was mentioned by Prime Minister Modi himself during his election rallies earlier this month.
The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) was launched in April 2020 with the specific purpose of ameliorating the hardships faced by the poor and needy due to economic disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
Initially, in 2020-21, the PMGKAY scheme was announced only for a period of three months (April- June 2020), however, it was extended until December 2022 in seven consecutive phases.
It benefitted 80 crore beneficiaries.
Earlier, the Central Government had decided to remove the financial burden of the poor beneficiaries and to ensure nationwide uniformity and effective implementation of the National Food Security Act and had decided to provide foodgrains free of cost to the beneficiaries covered under NFSA, 2013, for a period of one year, beginning January 01, 2023. (ANI)