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APMCs can access Rs 1 lakh cr agri fund, says Tomar; urges farmers to end protest

APMCs can access Rs 1 lakh cr agri fund, says Tomar; urges farmers to end protest

Appealing to the farmers to stop their protest, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar stated that APMCs will be eligible to avail financial assistance from the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF)

 Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar assuaged farmers' fears that APMCs will not be scrapped after the implementation of farm laws Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar assuaged farmers' fears that APMCs will not be scrapped after the implementation of farm laws

Mandis of the Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMC) will now have access to Rs 1 lakh crore earmarked for the Farmers Infrastructure Fund, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said on Thursday. 

Appealing to the farmers to stop their protest, he stated that APMCs will be eligible to avail financial assistance from the fund in order to expand the regulated markets' capacity and give better facilities to farmers. 

Addressing a press briefing following the first meeting of the new cabinet, Tomar assuaged farmers' fears that APMCs will not be scrapped after the implementation of farm laws, adding that instead the latter will be able to receive huge funds from the Centre's infrastructure fund to further strengthen them. 

Also Read: Rs 30,000 crore via new agri cess to improve states' APMC infra: FM Sitharaman

This, he said, allays the fears of protesting farmers that the Mandi system will be done away with once the three controversial agriculture laws are implemented.

This modification in the central scheme was approved in the cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday.

Briefing the media about the cabinet decision, Tomar said: "During the Budget, we had said that APMCs will not end, rather they will be further strengthened. Keeping that in mind, the Cabinet today decided to allow APMCs to utilise the Rs 1 lakh crore financing facility under Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF)."

Stating that there was apprehension that APMCs will be abolished, the minister reiterated that these regulated mandis will not end. "After the implementation of the three farm laws, APMCs will get funds from this agri-infra fund."

For APMCs, interest subvention for a loan of up to Rs 2 crore will be provided for each project of different infrastructure types like cold storage, sorting, grading and assaying units and silos within the same market yard, he added.

Apart from APMCs, Tomar said the financial facility under this fund has been extended to state agencies, national and state federations, farmer producer organisations (FPOs) as well as the federation of self-help groups (SHGs).

So far, individuals, organisations, cooperatives, FPOs, agri-startups and farmers organisations were eligible to avail subvention of three per cent per annum for loans up to Rs 2 crore, he added.

Also Read: New farm laws can create $30-35 bn value pool in agri ecosystem by 2025: Bain

Under the AIF, a medium to long-term debt financing facility is provided for investment in viable projects for post-harvest management infrastructure and community farming assets through interest subvention and financial support.

Among other changes in the scheme, the minister said that currently, the interest subvention for a loan of up to 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 now be eligible for interest subvention for loans of up to Rs 2 crore," he said.

However, for a private sector entity, there will be a limit of a maximum of 25 such projects. However, this limitation will not be applicable to state agencies, national and state federations of cooperatives, federations of FPOs and federation of SHGs, he said.

Also Read: Farmers' protest: Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar rules out repeal of Centre's new farm laws

Location will mean the physical boundary of a village or town having a distinct LGD (Local Government Directory) code. Each of such projects should be in a location with a separate LGD code.

The minister further said the period of the financial facility has been extended from four to six years up to 2025-26. The overall period of the scheme has been extended from 10 to 13 years up to 2032-33.

Published on: Jul 09, 2021, 11:12 AM IST
Posted by: Manali, Jul 09, 2021, 11:08 AM IST