Daily PIB News (July 8): Agriculture Infrastructure Fund Scheme Launched; Indian Navy Completes “Operation Samudra Setu”

Agriculture Infrastructure Fund

The Union Cabinet on July 8 gave its approval to a new pan India Central Sector Scheme-Agriculture Infrastructure Fund.

The scheme shall provide a medium – 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.

Under the scheme, Rs. One Lakh Crore will be provided by banks and financial institutions as loans to Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS), Marketing Cooperative Societies, Farmer Producers Organizations (FPOs), Self Help Group (SHG), Farmers, Joint Liability Groups (JLG), Multipurpose Cooperative Societies, Agri-entrepreneurs, Startups, Aggregation Infrastructure Providers and Central/State agency or Local Body sponsored Public Private Partnership Project

Loans will be disbursed in four years starting with sanction of Rs. 10,000 crorein the current year and Rs. 30,000 crore each in next three financial years.

All loans under this financing facility will have interest subvention of 3% per annum up to a limit of Rs. 2 crore. This subvention will be available for a maximum period of seven years. Further, credit guarantee coverage will be available for eligible borrowers from this financing facility under 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.

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 including interest subvention and credit guarantee offered, minimum documentation, faster approval process as also integration with other scheme benefits.

The National, State and District level Monitoring Committees will be set up to ensure real-time monitoring and effective feed-back.

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Indian Navy Completes “Operation Samudra Setu”

Op Samudra Setu was undertaken utilising Indian Naval ships best suited for the operation, catering for COVID-19 related social distancing norms vis-à-vis medical arrangements and carrying capacity. Ships used for the operation were specially provisioned and the Sick Bay or the clinic onboard was especially equipped with COVID-19 related equipment and facilities.  Women Officers and military nursing staff were also embarked for the women passengers. Basic amenities and medical facilities were provided to all evacuees during sea passage on these ships.  One of the expectant mothers who undertook passage on Jalashwa, Mrs Sonia Jacob, also gave birth to a baby boy within a few hours of reaching Kochi on International Mother’s Day.

Indian Naval ships Jalashwa, Airavat, Shardul and Magar steamed more then 23,000 kilometres during Op Samudra Setu and undertook the evacuation operation in a smooth and coordinated manner.

Operation Samudra Setu, which was launched on 05 May 2020 as part of the national effort to repatriate Indian citizens from overseas during the COVID-19 pandemic has culminated after successfully bringing 3,992 Indian citizens back to their homeland by sea. Indian Naval Ships Jalashwa (Landing Platform Dock), and Airavat, Shardul and Magar (Landing Ship Tanks) participated in this operation which lasted over 55 days and involved traversing more then 23,000 kilometers by sea.  Indian Navy has previously undertaken similar evacuation operations as part of Operation Sukoon in 2006 (Beirut) and Operation Rahat in 2015 (Yemen).

Affordable Rental Housing Complexes For Urban Migrants/Poor

The Union Cabinetchaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for developing of Affordable Rental Housing Complexes (AHRCs) for urban migrants  / poor as a sub-scheme under Pradhan MantriAwasYojana – Urban (PMAY – U) by:

existing vacant government funded housing complexes will be converted in ARHCs through Concession Agreements for 25 years. Concessionaire will make the complexes livable by repair/retrofit and maintenance of rooms and filling up infrastructure gaps like water, sewer/ septage, sanitation, road etc. States/UTs will select concessionaire through transparent bidding. Complexes will revert to ULB after 25 years to restart next cycle like earlier or run on their own.

special incentives like use permission, 50% additional FAR/FSI, concessional loan at priority sector lending rate, tax reliefs at par with affordable housing etc. will be offered to private/ public entities to develop ARHCs on their own available vacant land for 25 years.

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