The government has approved setting up a Rs.7,522 crore fund to develop infrastructure such as cold storage units, ice plants, transport facilities, processing units and hatcheries that will help boost annual fish production by 67% to 20 million tonnes by 2022-23. With this, the government expects to generate employment opportunities for over 9.4 lakh fishermen and other entrepreneurs in allied activities. It also aims to attract private investment in the creation and management of infrastructure facilities and adoption of new technologies in the sector. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved the creation of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund (FIDF). Funding of Rs.5,266 crore will come from nodal loaning entities such as National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, National Cooperatives Development Corporation and scheduled banks; Rs.1,317 crore will be contributed by beneficiaries; and Rs.939 crore will come as budgetary support from the government. FIDF will provide concessional finance to state and union territory governments, state entities, cooperatives, individuals and entrepreneurs investing in development of fisheries. The loans will be provided over five years starting 2018-19, and maximum repayment period will be 12 years, inclusive of a two year moratorium on repayment of the principal.
(Source: The Economic Times, October 24, 2018)
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