India sets up fund to boost dairy, poultry and meat processing industry

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NEW DELHI, June 24 (Xinhua) -- The Indian federal government Wednesday announced a new infrastructure fund of 15,000 crore Indian Rupees (about 2 billion U.S. dollars) for the benefit of individual entrepreneurs, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), farmer producer organizations (FPOs) to enable them to set up dairy, poultry and meat processing units, confirmed a federal government source.

This would result in creation of around 3.5 million job opportunities in the country, besides boosting meat exports and milk production, added the source.

The beneficiaries of the fund would be required to make a contribution of minimum 10 percent of the total investment in a project, while the balance 90 percent would be the loan component to be made available by government banks.

Termed as "Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund (AHIDF)", it would be a part of the 20 lakh crore Indian Rupees (around 267 billion U.S. dollars) stimulus package announced by the federal government in May to boost the Indian economy which was adversely affected by the countrywide lockdown, imposed on March 25 to check COVID-19 pandemic spread.

The lockdown had brought all manufacturing and business activities to a halt, besides resulting in huge joblessness.

"Government realizes that even MSMEs and private companies also need to be promoted and incentivized for their involvement in processing and value addition infrastructure. AHIDF would facilitate much needed incentivisation of investments in establishment of such infrastructure for dairy and meat processing and value addition infrastructure and establishment of animal feed plant in the private sector," said the statement issued by the federal government.

It further added that "government of India will provide 3 percent interest subvention to eligible beneficiaries. There will be two years moratorium period for principal loan amount and six years repayment period thereafter."

The AHIDF and the interest subvention scheme for private investors will ensure availability of capital to meet upfront investment required for these projects and also help enhance overall returns or pay back for investors. Enditem

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