Cabinet approves Rs 1 lakh crore fund for agriculture infrastructure


New Delhi : The Union Cabinet on Wednesday gave its approval to Agriculture Infrastructure Fund of Rs 1 lakh crore, a new pan-India central government scheme, to provide a medium to long term debt financing facility for investment in viable projects for post-harvest management infrastructure and community farming assets through interest subvention and financial support.

Briefing reporters about the decision of the Union Cabinet, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said under the Scheme, Rs 1 lakh crore will be provided by banks and financial institutions as loans to Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS), marketing cooperative societies, Farmer Producers Organisations (FPOs), self-help groups (SHGs), farmers, joint liability groups (JLG), multi-purpose cooperative societies, agri-entrepreneurs, start-ups, aggregation infrastructure providers and central/state agency or local body sponsored public-private partnership projects.

Loans will be disbursed in four years starting with the sanction of Rs 10,000 crore in the current year and Rs 30,000 crore each in the next three financial years.
He said all loans under this financing facility will have interest subvention of 3 per cent per annum up to a limit of Rs 2 crore.

This subvention will be available for a maximum period of seven years.

Credit guarantee coverage will be available for eligible borrowers from this financing facility under the Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) scheme for a loan up to Rs 2 crore. The fee for this coverage will be paid by the government.

In case of FPOs, the credit guarantee may be availed from the facility created under FPO promotion scheme of Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare (DACFW).

The total outflow as budgetary support from the central government will be Rs 10,736 crore.

An official release said moratorium for repayment under this financing facility may vary subject to a minimum of six months and maximum of two years.
The project, by way of facilitating formal credit to farm and farm processing-based activities, is expected to create numerous job opportunities in the rural areas.
The agri infra fund will be managed and monitored through an online Management Information System (MIS) platform.

“It will enable all the qualified entities to apply for loan under the fund. The online platform will also provide benefits such as transparency of interest rates offered by multiple banks, scheme details, minimum documentation, faster approval process as also integration with other scheme benefits,” the release said.

National, state and district-level monitoring committees will be set up to ensure real-time monitoring and effective feedback.

The duration of the scheme will be for 10 years from the financial year 2020 to FY 2029. (ANI)