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Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan at PM Modi's first cabinet meeting

By Vishal S

New Delhi, May 31: After the allocation of portfolios, the Modi 2.0 government held its first Cabinet meeting at South Block on Friday during which several key decisions like extending Pradhan Mantri-KISAN scheme to all 14.5 crore farmers across the country and changes in scholarship scheme under the National Defence Fund were taken.

PM Modi approved hike in scholarship amount under National Defence Fund which essentially means that the wards of personnel who were martyred in terror or Maoist attacks will receive enhanced scholarships. The government enhanced the monthly scholarship for the children under this scheme from Rs 2,000 to Rs 2,500 for boys and from Rs 2,250 to Rs 3,000 for girls.

PM Modi chairs cabinet meeting at PMO in South Block

"Our Government's first decision dedicated to those who protect India! Major changes approved in PM's Scholarship Scheme' under the National Defence Fund including enhanced scholarships for wards of police personnel martyred in terror or Maoist attacks," PM Modi tweeted soon after the decision was taken at the first Cabinet meeting of the new government.

The ambit of the Scholarship Scheme has been extended to the wards of State Police officials who lay down their lives in service of the country.

[In its first decision, Modi Cabinet hikes scholarship amount for martyrs' kin][In its first decision, Modi Cabinet hikes scholarship amount for martyrs' kin]

At the first meeting after swearing-in, the Modi-led Cabinet decided to extend the Rs 6,000 per year assistance to all farmers, farm minister Narendra Singh Tomar announced after the meeting. The cabinet also agreed to roll out pension plans for farmers and traders.

The extension will cost Rs 87,000 crore a year. A pension scheme worth Rs 10,000 crore, which will benefit five crore farmers, was also announced.

Announcing the two key decisions, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the Modi 2.0 government has announced the landmark decisions for the farming community in its very first Cabinet meeting.

"The Union Cabinet has approved to extend the ambit of the scheme by including all land holding eligible farmer families under the scheme, subject to the prevalent exclusion criteria," he said after the meeting.

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The Rs 75,000-crore Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Siddhi (PMKSS) was announced in the interim Budget under which the government decided to provide Rs 6,000 per year (in three equal installments) to an estimated 12.5 crore small and marginal farmers holding land up to two hectares.

"Now, the revised scheme envisages covering around two crore more farmers, increasing the coverage of the PM-KISAN to around 14.5 crore beneficiaries," Tomar said.

The Modi 2.0 government also approved a new scheme, which assures minimum monthly pension of Rs 3,000 to all shopkeepers, retail traders and self employed persons after attaining the age of 60 years, fulfilling its poll promise.

The decision taken at the Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will benefit 3 crore retail traders and shopkeepers. Five crore traders are expected to join the scheme in the next three years, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said while briefing reporters at a press conference.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah described as "landmark" the Modi government's decision to launch a new pension scheme for shopkeepers and retail traders. Shah, who took oath as a central minister Thursday, also said in a series of tweets that farmers and poor have always been a priority for the Modi government. Shah said as promised, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extended the PM-Kisan Yojana to all farmers.

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The Centre Friday decided to bear the entire cost of Rs 13,343 crore under an existing scheme that seeks to control livestock diseases, especially food and mouth disease (FMD) and brucellosis, in the next five years. A decision in this regard was taken in the first Cabinet meeting of the Modi 2.0 government.

Briefing media, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said the scheme is in the interest of the farming community.

"This is an existing vaccination scheme under which the Centre and state governments contribute funds in the ratio of 60:40. In a rare instance of departure, the Central government has decided to now bear the entire cost," the minister said. The Cabinet had cleared a total outlay of Rs 13,343 crore to fully control these diseases among the livestock in the country in the next five years and subsequently eradicate these diseases, he said.

Addressing a press conference after the meeting, Javadekar said the first two days of the session will be devoted to swearing-in of the newly elected MPs while the Lok Sabha speaker will be elected on June 19.

[Modi Govt 2.0 to present Budget on July 5, session to begin from June 17][Modi Govt 2.0 to present Budget on July 5, session to begin from June 17]

The President's address to the joint sitting of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha will take place on June 20, he said. The economic survey will be tabled on July 4 followed by the presentation of the budget on the next day. The session will have a total of 30 sittings. It will be the first budget of the Modi government in its second term and will be presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The interim budget for the year 2019-20 was presented by then Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on February 1.

OneIndia News with PTI inputs

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