Cabinet approves grain storage scheme in coop sector, CITIIS 2.0

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New Delhi, May 31 (UNI) The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved Rs 1 lakh crore scheme in the co-operative sector for scaling up grain storage capacity across the country.

Accordingly, an inter-ministerial panel would be set up to facilitate the creation of the “world’s largest grain storage capacity in the co-operative sector”.

Briefing media on Cabinet decisions, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said that India has grain storage capacity to the extent of only 47% of the total foodgrain production even as it is one of the largest producers of the foodgrains in the world.

He said that countries like Argentina, China, US, Brazil and Russia have grain storage capacity higher than their total production.

“Now, in the cooperative sector, we are going to launch the scheme to have the world’s largest grain storage capacity,” Thakur said.

He further said that the country has the total storage capacity of 1450 lakh tonne and now 700 lakh tonne storage capacity will begin in the cooperative sector.

The Minister informed that the total foodgrain production in the country is about 3,100 lakh tonne and the biggest problem is that (a portion of) valuable foodgrains go waste due to insufficient storage capacity and transportation related issues.

The Minister said that the proposed scheme will not only save foodgrain from going waste but also reduce imports, boost food security, strengthen Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS), contain migration, create jobs at panchayat level and increase farmers’ income.

He said that the total estimated expenditure on the scheme would be around Rs 1 lakh crore.

“It’s a win-win situation for one and all, for the Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS), for the farmers, for the consumers and for the country as a whole,” Thakur said.

Under the scheme, godowns with a capacity of 2,000 tonne will be set up in each block.

The new scheme envisages convergence of various schemes of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and Ministry of Food Processing Industries.

The new scheme would be implemented by utilizing the available outlays provided under the identified schemes of the respective ministries.

“In order to ensure time bound and uniform implementation of the plan in a professional manner, Ministry of Cooperation will implement a pilot project in at least 10 selected Districts of different States/ UTs in the country,” an official statement said.The plan entails setting up various types of agri-infrastructure, including warehouse, custom hiring center, processing units, etc. at the level of PACS, thus transforming them into multipurpose societies.

“Creation and modernization of infrastructure at the level of PACS will reduce food grain wastage by creating sufficient storage capacity, strengthen food security of the country and enable farmers to realise better prices for their crops,” the statement said.

The Union cabinet also approved the City Investments to Innovate, Integrate and Sustain 2.0 (CITIIS 2.0) aimed at boosting the circular economy and making cities cleaner among others.

The funding for CITIIS 2.0 would include a loan of Rs 1,760 crore (EUR 200 million) from French Development Agency and Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (EUR 100 million each) and a technical assistance grant of Rs 106 crore (EUR 12 million) from the EU.

CITIIS 2.0 aims to leverage and scale up the learnings and successes of CITIIS 1.0.

“CITIIS 2.0 will supplement the climate actions of Government of India through its ongoing National programs (National Mission on Sustainable Habitat, AMRUT 2.0, Swachh Bharat Mission 2.0 and Smart Cities Mission), as well as contributing positively to India’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) and Conference of the Parties (COP26) commitments,” a statement said.

UNI NK KK

 

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