Recently, the Union Cabinet approved some modifications in the Central Sector Scheme of Financing Facility under ‘Agriculture Infrastructure Fund’.
- It was launched in 2020 as a part of the Rs. 20 lakh crore stimulus package announced in response to the Covid-19 crisis.
- 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, grading and packaging units, e-marketing points linked to e-trading platforms, besides PPP (Public Private Partnership) projects for crop aggregation sponsored by central/state/local bodies.
- They are Farmers, Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs), Primary Agricultural Credit Society (PACS), Marketing Cooperative Societies, Self Help Groups (SHGs), Joint Liability Groups (JLG), Multipurpose Cooperative Societies, Agri-entrepreneurs, Start-ups, and Central/State agency or Local Body sponsored PPP Projects.
- Eligibility has been extended to State agencies and Agricultural Produce Marketing Committees (APMCs), as well as federations of cooperative organisations, FPOs and SHGs.
- 1 Lakh Crore will be provided by banks and financial institutions as loans to eligible beneficiaries.
- Moratorium for repayment may vary subject to minimum of 6 months and maximum of 2 years.
- Interest Subvention: 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 this financing facility under Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) scheme for a loan up to Rs. 2 crore.
- The fund will be managed and monitored through an online Management Information System (MIS) platform. It will enable all the qualified entities to apply for loans under the Fund.
- The National, State and District level monitoring committees will be set up to ensure real-time monitoring and effective feed-back.
SOURCE: THE HINDU,THE ECONOMIC TIMES,MINT