Modifications in ‘Agriculture Infrastructure Fund’

Cabinet has approved modifications in the ‘Agriculture Infrastructure Fund’ on July 8, 2021.

Key Points

  • This move is aimed at expanding “Rs 1-lakh-crore Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF)”.
  • It will expand the beneficiary institutions including Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMCs) in order to avail credit of up to Rs 2 crore from AIF. This credit will be utilized to set up cold storage, sorting, grading and assaying units.
  • Central government has sanctioned projects of worth Rs 4,300 crore from the fund, so far.

What modifications have been made?

  • Repayment period has been also been increased from 4 years to 6 years up to 2025-26.
  • Government has also extended overall period of this scheme from 10 years to 13 years. Scheme will be valid up to 2032-33.
  • Eligibility to avail loans from AIF has been extended to state agencies or APMCs, national and state federations of cooperatives, federations self-help groups (SHGs) and federations of farmers producers organisations (FPOs).
  • Cabinet has also allowed agriculture minister to make necessary changes when needed without seeking centre’s approval on addition or deletion of beneficiary without altering basic spirit of this scheme.
  • As per current norms, interest subvention for loan of up to Rs 2 crore by one organisation or farmer is eligible in only one location under the scheme. If one eligible entity puts up projects in different locations then all projects will be eligible for interest subvention. However, private sector entity can have a maximum of 25 such projects. This limitation of 25 projects will not be applicable to state agencies, national & state federations of cooperatives, federations of SHGs and federation of FPOs.

Post of Chairman

Post of chairman of Coconut Development Board (CDB) will be made as a non-executive one now. Cabinet also approved creation of chief executive officer in that organisation.

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