The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently gave its approval to the following modifications in central sector scheme of financing facility under ‘Agriculture Infrastructure Fund’:
Eligibility has now been extended to state agencies, agricultural produce market committees (APMCs), national and state federations of cooperatives, federations of farmers producers organisations (FPOs) and federations of self-help groups (SHGs).
So far interest subvention for a loan upto Rs. 2 crore in one location was 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 loan upto Rs. 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 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 upto Rs. 2 crore will be provided for each project of different infrastructure types e.g. cold storage, sorting, grading and assaying units, silos within the same market yard.
The power has been delegated to Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare to make necessary changes with regard to addition or deletion of beneficiary in such a manner so that basic spirit of the scheme is not alter.
The period of financial facility has been extended from 4 to 6 years upto 2025-26 and overall period of the scheme has been extended from 10 to 13 years upto 2032-33.
The modifications in Agriculture Infrastructure Fund will help achieve a multiplier effect in generating investments while ensuring that the benefits reach small and marginal farmers. APMC markets are setup to provide market linkages and create an ecosystem of post-harvest public infrastructure open to all farmers.
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