New Delhi, July 8 (PTI) Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday welcomed the Union Cabinet's decision to approve modifications in the central sector scheme of financing facility under the 'Agriculture Infrastructure Fund' under which APMC mandis will now be eligible to avail financial support.
The decision has facilitated the inclusion of state agencies and APMC mandis, National and State Federations of Cooperatives, self-help groups (SHGs) and Federation of Farmers Producers Organisations (FPOs) in the 'Agriculture Infrastructure Fund'.
It also extended the interest subvention scheme and a guarantee for a loan up to Rs 2 crore for each project for a maximum of 25 such projects.
Shah has welcomed the decision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to approve modifications in the Central Sector Scheme of financing facility under the 'Agriculture Infrastructure Fund', taken at the first cabinet meeting after the expansion of the cabinet, a home ministry statement said.
Shah said with the approval for APMC in the same market premises for various infrastructure projects, it will provide interest subvention on loans up to Rs 2 crore for different infrastructure projects such as cold storages, sorting, grading and evaluation units, silos among others.
The home minister congratulated the prime minister for this 'visionary decision' which is beneficial for agriculture and farmers.
Shah said the Modi government is committed to agriculture and the prosperity of farmers.
He said this 'historic decision' is a reflection of the resolve of the Modi government to further strengthen the APMC system. This decision will not only further empower the APMCs but will also increase employment opportunities and benefit more and more people, Shah said.
With this decision, the inclusion of state agencies and APMCs, national and state federations of cooperatives, SHGs and FPOs will bring more investment in the agricultural infrastructure sector, which will also generate employment, the home minister said.
This decision is a positive step of the Modi government towards making the agriculture sector self-reliant, he said.
So far, loans up to Rs 2 crore at one place were eligible for interest subvention under the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund Scheme.
Now, if an eligible entity takes up projects in different locations, all such projects will be eligible for interest subvention for loans up to Rs 2 crore. However, there will be a maximum limit of 25 such projects for a private sector unit.
The home minister said this decision of the Modi government 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, I heartily congratulate Prime Minister Narendra Modi,' Shah said.
Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the APMC mandis will now be eligible to avail financial support from the Rs 1 lakh crore Agriculture Infrastructure Fund to expand the regulated markets' capacity and provide better facilities to farmers.
Tomar also asserted that the decision to further strengthen the Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMCs) allays protesting farmers' fear that these mandis will be scrapped with the implementation of three controversial agriculture laws. PTI ACB NSD NSD