PM-AASHA : Analysis – UPSC GS2

What is PM-AASHA scheme?
  • PM-AASHA is aimed at ensuring remunerative prices to the farmers for their produce.
  • The Umbrella Scheme includes the mechanism of ensuring remunerative prices to the farmers and is comprised of:
    • Price Support Scheme (PSS),
    • Price Deficiency Payment Scheme (PDPS)
    • Pilot of Private Procurement & Stockist Scheme (PPPS).
Significant provisions under PM-AASHA scheme:
  • Cap on procurement: Under PM-AASHA, procurement is done on request from the state government and purchases are capped at 25% of the total production of the crop in the state. This can be expanded up to 40% if the commodity is used for PDS or for any other state welfare scheme.
  • No tax: No state could levy any tax such as mandi tax on such procurement.
  • Cap on central expenditure: The central expenditure on all the three components of PM-AASHA is limited to 25% of the state’s total production of oilseeds and pulses.
  • The state would have to arrange funds from its own resources if it wants to procure or support over and above the mandated 25%.
  • Timely compensation: Another important guideline of PM-AASHA is that farmers, whether under PDPS or Price support scheme (PSS) or private sector pilot, will have to be paid their remuneration within a fixed time period.
How the PM-AASHA Scheme has progressed so far?
  • According to the recent report of The Commission for Agriculture Costs and Prices (CACP), the PSS has made significant progress in terms of procurement of pulses and oilseeds by NAFED. However, PDPS and PPSS have not made much progress.
  • The commission pointed that absence of regular disposal mechanisms and market infrastructure unlike wheat and paddy for oilseeds and pulses as the main problem.
  • Recommendation: The commission recommended that PDPS and PPSS can be strengthened by addressing the procurement issues of oilseeds and pulses.

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