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Cabinet approves signing of MoU with Nepal on biodiversity conservation

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New Delhi, Aug 31: The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved an environment ministry proposal for signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Nepal on biodiversity conservation.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

The MoU would help in promoting cooperation between India and Nepal in the field of forests, wildlife, environment, biodiversity conservation, and climate change, including restoration of corridors and interlinking areas, and sharing knowledge and best practices, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change said in a statement on Wednesday.

The region along the Indo-Nepal border hosts some of the best wildlife habitats remaining in the Indian subcontinent.

Cabinet approves disposal of Chana procured under Price Support Scheme

The Cabinet also approved disposal of Chana (Pulses) to States/UTs at discounted rate to be utilized for various Welfare Schemes from the stock of pulses procured under Price Support Scheme (PSS) and Price Stabilisation Fund (PSF), and enhancement of ceiling on quantity of procurement under PSS from existing 25 per cent to 40 per cent in respect of Tur, Urad & Masur.

Under this approved Scheme, the States/UTs Government are offered to lift 15 lakh MT of Chana at the discount of Rs. 8 per kg over Issue Price of the sourcing State on First come first serve basis. The States/UTs to utilize these pulses in their various Welfare Schemes/Programmes like Mid-Day Meal, Public Distribution System, Integrated Child Development Programmes (ICDP) etc. in their States/UTs.

This will be one-time dispensation for a period of 12 months or till complete disposal of 15 lakh MT stock of Chana whichever is earlier. The Government will spend Rs. 1200 crore for implementation of this Scheme.

The decisions will enable the States/UTs to use Chana in various Welfare Schemes like PDS, Mid-Day Meal Schemes etc. besides making available space of warehouses, which may be required in coming Rabi season for accommodating fresh stocks procured under Price Support Scheme which will help in getting remunerative price of pulses to the farmers besides, encourage more farmers to grow such pulses by making higher investment and help them in fetching remunerative price for their produce. Moreover, this also helps in achieving self-sufficiency of such pulses in our country.

In recent times the country has witnessed an all time high production of Chana (Pulses) especially during the last three years. Government of India under Price Support Scheme has made record procurement of Chana during Rabi 2019-20, 2020-21 & 2021-22.

Due to this, 30.55 lakh MT of Chana is available with the Government under PSS & PSF in the coming Rabi season also, the production of Chana is expected to be good. This coupled with increase in Minimum Support Price for Chana during 22-23 will entail additional procurement under Price Support Scheme.

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