Centre invites farmers to talks, APMCs to get interest bonus


By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  The Union Cabinet in its meeting on Thursday sought to calm the nerves of agitating farmers by allowing inclusion of Agriculture Produce Marketing Cooperatives (APMCs) in the interest subvention scheme unveiled in the Union Budget of Rs one lakh crore for creation of agriculture infrastructure. 

Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar reiterated his appeal to renew talks with the farmer unions, saying that they have benefited in the past seven years of the various initiatives taken by the government for agriculture, including direct payments of the MSP (Minimum Support Prices) procurement of food grains.

Tomar, briefing the Cabinet decision, said the interest subvention scheme has been amended to allow the projects for the strengthening of the APMCs within the ambit of the scheme. He also said that the individuals, Farmers Producers Organisations (FPOs) and others can taken up 25 projects, but in different locations and claim interest subventions for Rs 2 crore loan for each.

He also said the state cooperatives can take up more than 25 projects under the scheme, which was unveiled in the Union Budget this year. Also, Tomar informed that the Cabinet has amended the Coconut Board to crate the post of a CEO and chairman who will be from a farming background, while the scope of the entity will be expanded to explore opportunities abroad. 

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