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Tripura hopes to get Rs 4,802 cr from Centre’s stimulus package; agriculture, MSME’s to receive big benefits

Written by Debraj Deb
| Agartala |

Published: May 22, 2020 7:57:30 pm

Tripura CM Biplab Deb addressing a press conference. (Source: Debraj Deb)

Tripura’s BJP-IPFT government Friday said it will likely receive Rs 4,802.88 crores out of the Rs 20 lakh crore fiscal stimulus package announced by the Centre a few days back to overcome the economic impact from the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking to reporters at the state secretariat this evening, Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb said his government has estimated all segments that would be covered under the package and is expecting Rs 4,802.88 crores under five areas.

These include different components such as stimulus to industries, entrepreneurs etc., direct support to farmers and rural economy, support to urban poor, agricultural support, upgradation of industrial infrastructure, increased MGNREGA allocation and increase in borrowing limit. Out of the Rs 4,802.88 crore, nearly Rs 2,000 crore is for agriculture and agri-allied sectors.

Appealing youths to join the MSME sectors and avail benefits of the stimulus package, Deb said the state government has identified 500 MSMEs in Tripura so far. He said Tripura is expecting to receive major awards from the package in credit support to new Kisan Credit Card holders, liquidity support to farmers, collateral free loans to businesses including MSMEs, payments to DISCOMs, increase in borrowing limit, upgradation of industrial infrastructure like a forthcoming Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at Sabroom in South Tripura etc.

“We shall spread awareness in agriculture sector. But the support to 1.42 lakh farmers having new Kisan Credit Cards is likely to bring a new revolution soon. We shall hold a special drive to ensure beneficiaries get awards. This one of the biggest segment in the scheme,” Deb said.

He explained that his government has analysed the probable awards since many state governments have raised issues about the package. “Farmers, poor people, labourers, entrepreneurs in MSME sectors and many more will receive benefits from this stimulus package,” he said.

Defending the Centre’s decision to revise labour laws and increase working hours to 13 hours a day, Deb said higher working hours are necessary to revive economy damaged during the lockdown. Tax revenue collection in Tripura has fallen to 20 per cent in the last three months, Deb said, adding that share of taxes have fallen by 30 per cent in recent times as well.

“We aren’t going permanent with reforms for 12 hour working shifts. This is a testing period to revive our economy and attract companies who are trying get out of China”, Deb said. He added workers will be more protected with securities, health check-ups with the reforms.

Speaking about a series of zoonotic virus-induced animal diseases like bird flu, swine flu, Deb said he feels these diseases return seasonally due to inadequate or improper vaccination practices. Out of Rs 13,343 crores allocated in the stimulus package in preventing animal diseases, Tripura hopes to get Rs 7.35 crore.

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