NEW DELHI, 09 July 2021: The Union Cabinet chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave its approval to the following modifications in the Central Sector Scheme of Financing Facility under ‘Agriculture Infrastructure Fund’.
The eligibility has now been extended to State Agencies/APMCs, National & State Federations of Cooperatives, Federations of Farmers Producers Organizations (FPOs), and Federations of Self Help Groups (SHGs). With this decision, not only will the APMC be empowered but it will increase employment opportunities and more and more people will be benefited.
At present Interest subvention for a loan up to INR 2 crore in one location is eligible under the scheme. In case, one eligible entity puts up projects in different locations then all such projects will now be eligible for interest subvention for loans up to INR 2 crore.
However, for a private sector entity, there will be a limit of a maximum of 25 such projects. This limitation of 25 projects will not be applicable to state agencies, national and state federations of cooperatives, federations of FPOs, and federation of SHGs. Location will mean the physical boundary of a village or town having a distinct LGD (Local Government Directory) code. Each of such projects should be in a location having a separate LGD code.
For APMCs, interest subvention for a loan up to INR 2 crore will be provided for each project of different infrastructure types e.g. cold storage, sorting, grading, and assaying units, silos, et within the same market yard.
The power has been delegated to the Hon’ble Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare to make necessary changes with regard to the addition or deletion of beneficiaries in such a manner so that the basic spirit of the scheme is not altered.
The period of the financial facility has been extended from 4 to 6 years up to 2025-26 and the overall period of the scheme has been extended from 10 to 13 up to 2032-33.
The modifications in the Scheme will help to achieve a multiplier effect in generating investments while ensuring that the benefits reach small and marginal farmers. APMC markets are set up to provide market linkages and create an ecosystem of post-harvest public infrastructure open to all farmers.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah has welcomed the decision by saying that the inclusion of State Agencies/APMCs, National and State Federations of Cooperatives, SHGs, and FPOs will bring more investment in the agricultural infrastructure sector, which will also generate employment. It will be of great help to cooperative markets to strengthen their infrastructure, for this, on behalf of all the people associated with the agriculture and cooperative sector.
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