However, Sitharaman did not share the details, including fund allocation, to the scheme.

The scheme was part of Sitharaman’s 16-point action plan to boost the growth of the country’s agriculture sector.

The finance minister also announced a Kisan Rail scheme for the transportation of farmers’ output by Indian Railways. “To build a seamless national cold supply chain for perishables, the Indian Railways will set up Kisan Rail through PPP (public-private partnership) model so that perishable goods can be transported quickly,” said Sitharaman.

In the union railway budget for 2009-10, a proposal to use refrigerated parcel vans to ferry perishable products was announced by then railway minister Mamata Banerjee.

Farmer distress has been a bugbear in the Indian economy, and it was anticipated that the government may announce schemes to address the sector’s woes. In her speech, Sitharaman emphasised that the government has a goal of doubling farmers’ income by 2022.

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