Cabinet approves Constitution and Empowerment of an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) for Facilitation of “World’s Largest Grain Storage Plan in Cooperative Sector”
The Union Cabinet approved the constitution and empowerment of an Inter Ministerial Committee (IMC) for facilitation of the World’s Largest Grain Storage Plan in Cooperative Sector by convergence of various schemes of various ministries:
- the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare,
- Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and
- Ministry of Food Processing Industries.
An Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) will be constituted to modify guidelines/ implementation methodologies of the schemes of the respective Ministries as and when need arises by creation of infrastructure such as godowns, etc. for Agriculture and Allied purposes, at selected ‘viable’ Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS).
The Plan would be implemented by utilizing the available outlays provided under the identified schemes of the respective Ministries.
Which schemes are being converged?
Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare:
- Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF),
- Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure Scheme (AMI),
- Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH),
- Sub Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM)
Ministry of Food Processing Industries:
- Pradhan Mantri Formalization of Micro Food Processing Enterprises Scheme (PMFME),
- Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana (PMKSY)
- Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution:
- Allocation of food grains under the National Food Security Act,
- Procurement operations at Minimum Support Price
It aims to address not just the shortage of agricultural storage infrastructure in the country by facilitating establishment of godowns at the level of PACS, but would also enable PACS to undertake various other activities, viz:
- Functioning as Procurement centres for State Agencies/ Food Corporation of India (FCI);
- Serving as Fair Price Shops (FPS);
- Setting up custom hiring centers;
- Setting up common processing units, including assaying, sorting, grading units for agricultural produce, etc.
- Creation of decentralized storage capacity at the local level would reduce food grain wastage and strengthening food security of the country.
- By providing various options to the farmers, it would prevent distress sale of crops, thus enabling the farmers to realise better prices for their produce.
- It would hugely reduce the cost incurred in transportation of food grains to procurement centres and again transporting the stocks back from warehouses to FPS.
- Through ‘whole-of-Government’ approach, the Plan would strengthen PACS by enabling them to diversify their business activities, thus enhancing the incomes of the farmer members as well.
SOURCE: THE HINDU, THE ECONOMIC TIMES, PIB