Government approves World’s Largest Grain Storage Plan in cooperative sector

In order to address the shortage of food grain storage capacity in the country, Government has approved the World’s Largest Grain Storage Plan in Cooperative Sector, which is being rolled out as a Pilot Project in different States/UTs of the country.

The Plan entails creation of various agri infrastructure at PACS level, including setting up decentralised godowns, custom hiring centre, processing units, fair price shops, through convergence of various existing schemes of Government of India (GoI), such as, Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF), Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure Scheme (AMI), Sub Mission on Agricultural Mechanisation (SMAM) Pradhan Mantri Formalisation of Micro Food Processing Enterprises Scheme (PMFME).

Under these schemes, PACS can avail subsidies and interest subvention benefits for construction of godowns/storage facilities and setting up of other agri infrastructure. Further, NABARD is also extending financial support to PACS by refinancing them at highly subsidised rates of around 1%, after incorporating the benefits of 3% interest subvention under AIF scheme for projects up to Rs 2 crore.  

Therefore, the plan aims to strengthen the economic condition of PACS by diversifying their business activities and giving them additional sources of revenue thus improving their financial sustainability.

The Pilot project is being implemented by National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) with the support of NABARD, Food Corporation of India (FCI), Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC), NABARD Consultancy Services (NABCONS), National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC), etc. in different States/ UTs. Consultancy support is also being extended to PACS through these agencies under the project.

In order to ensure accountability and smooth, effective and transparent implementation of the plan, Ministry of Cooperation has constituted an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC), which is authorised to modify guidelines/ implementation methodologies of the schemes identified for convergence, as and when need arises. A National Level Coordination Committee (NLCC) has also been constituted having members from Ministry/ Departments, Central Government agencies concerned to steer the overall implementation of the Plan and reviewing the progress of implementation.

This article has been republished from the FNB news.

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