The Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Union Cabinet, on July 7, nodded to several modifications in the Central Sector Scheme of Financing Facility under ‘Agriculture Infrastructure Fund’.
The cabinet has extended eligibility to State Agencies/APMCs, National and State Federations of Cooperatives, Federations of Farmers Producers Organisations (FPOs) and Federations of Self Help Groups (SHGs).
Currently, interest subvention for a loan of upto Rs 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 a loan of upto Rs 2 crore. However, for a private sector entity, there will be a limit of a maximum of 25 such projects. Such a limitation will not be applicable to state agencies, national and state federations of cooperatives, FPOs and SHGs. Location means a physical boundary of a village or town having a distinct Local Government Directory (LGD) code. Each of such projects should be in a location having a separate LGD code.
For APMCs, interest subvention for a loan of upto Rs 2 crore will be provided for each project of different infrastructure types including cold storage, sorting, grading and assaying units, silos, etc. within the same market yard.
The power has been delegated to the Minister of Agriculture and 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 four to six 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. The APMC markets are set up to provide market linkages and create an ecosystem of post-harvest public infrastructure open to all farmers.
(With inputs from PIB)