The Modi government which held its first cabinet meeting post mega expansion exercise on Wednesday announced a host of new decisions concerning farmers and the health sector on Thursday.
Addressing a presser, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that Rs 1 lakh crore fund has been approved for farmers through APMCs. The move will also strengthen mandis.
In order to increase Coconut farming, the government said it is going to amend the Coconut Board Act.
"The Coconut Board president will be a non-official person. He will be from the farmers' community, who knows and understand the work of the field," Narendra Singh Tomar said.
The Agriculture Minister once again reiterated that there will be no impact on Mandis (APMCs) once the new farm laws are implemented, in fact the government is taking steps to further strengthen them.
"APMC will not end. Even after the implementation of the new farm laws, the mandis will be provided with resources worth crores, which will strengthen them," he said.
"I want to tell people associated with the farmers' movement that the Government of India has tried to do what it has said. The markets will not end but will be strengthened," Tomar said. On the core issue of new farm laws, Narendra Singh Tomar asked people associated with farmers' protests that the government is ready to discuss any proposal except repealing them.
In addition to this, the government also announced Rs 23,123 crore emergency health package.
The decisions were taken in the first cabinet meeting following a mega expansion exercise that was held on Wednesday when 43 leaders were inducted into the government including 15 Cabinet and 28 Minister of State (MoS).
In a major overhaul, Prime Minister Narendra Modi brought in Sarbananda Sonowal, Narayan Rane and Jyotiraditya Scindia in the Cabinet while dropping as many as 12 ministers including Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, IT and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar.
This was the first reshuffle in the Council of Ministers by Prime Minister Modi since he assumed charge for a second term in May 2019.
An extensive and protracted review was carried out by Modi and the BJP top brass through a series of meetings with ministers ahead of Wednesday's big exercise.
These meetings were also held in the wake of widespread criticism of the Central government's handling of the COVID crisis.