News: The Union Cabinet chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today 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/APMCs, National & State Federations of Cooperatives, Federations of Farmers Producers Organizations (FPOs) and Federations of Self Help Groups (SHGs).
- At present Interest subvention for a loan 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 be 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.
- 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, et within the same market yard.
- The power has been delegated to Hon’ble 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 altere
- 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 upto 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 setup to provide market linkages and create an ecosystem of post-harvest public infrastructure open to all farmers.
Agriculture Infrastructure Fund:
- It aims to provide medium – long term debt financing facility for investment in viable projects for post-harvest management Infrastructure and community farming assets.
- The funds will be provided for setting up of cold stores and chains, warehousing, silos, assaying, grading and packaging units, e-marketing points linked to e-trading platforms and ripening chambers, besides PPP projects for crop aggregation sponsored by central/state/local bodies.
- 1 Lakh Crore will be provided by banks and financial institutions as loans to Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS), Marketing Cooperative Societies, Farmer Producers Organizations (FPOs), Self Help Group (SHG), Farmers, Joint Liability Groups (JLG), Multipurpose Cooperative Societies, Agri-entrepreneurs and Central/State agencies or Local Bodies sponsored by Public Private Partnership Projects.
- Loans will be disbursed in four years starting with sanction of Rs. 10,000 crore in the current year and Rs. 30,000 crore each in next three financial years.
- Moratorium for repayment may vary subject to minimum of 6 months and maximum of 2 years.
- Loans will have interest subvention of 3% per annum up to a limit of Rs. 2 crore. This subvention will be available for a maximum period of seven years.
- A credit guarantee coverage will be available for eligible borrowers from the scheme under Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) scheme for a loan up to Rs. 2 crore.
- In case of FPOs the credit guarantee may be availed from the facility created under FPO promotion scheme.
- The fund will be managed and monitored through an online Management Information System platform. It will enable all the qualified entities to apply for loan under the Fund. The National, State and District level monitoring committees will be set up to ensure real-time monitoring and effective feed-back.