The National Horticulture Board (NHB), operating under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, has heard the plea of farmers and responded with a simplified scheme design and documentation process for its capital investment subsidy schemes. These schemes offer subsidies ranging from 35 to 50 percent for various components, aimed at promoting commercial horticulture and cold chain infrastructure throughout India.
It’s no secret that farming can be a complex and arduous task, so this streamlined process will be a breath of fresh air for farmers who have been struggling with the previous, more convoluted system. The new changes are implemented from 15.03.2023, and are expected to have a significant impact on the farming community and the horticulture industry in India.
Are you a farmer or someone interested in the agricultural industry? Well, you’re in for a treat as we dive into the exciting and newly simplified scheme design of the National Horticulture Board (NHB) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare!
In the past, applicants had to go through a tedious two-stage process of In-Principle Approval (IPA) and Grant of Clearance (GoC), but not anymore! With the new scheme design, the IPA stage has been eliminated, and the applicant can apply straightaway for the GoC after sanction of the term loan by the bank.
And that’s not all! The old IPA system has been replaced with the issuance of a Letter of Comfort (LoC), which is a facility letter given to applicants who desire it, to help them get their term loan sanctioned from banks or financial institutions. The best part is that the LoC is not mandatory, giving applicants the freedom to decide if they want to take advantage of it or not.
But wait, it gets even better! The documentation process has been significantly simplified, with only minimum documents required for seeking LoC/GoC. And the processing of LoC/GoC applications is now completely digital, making it a breeze for applicants to apply and get updates on their applications. The platform has also been equipped with a timeline monitoring system, so that every step can be monitored as per the pre-set target timelines, and the processing officer and applicant can receive alerts at regular intervals.
And here’s more exciting news! LoC/GoC applications can now be submitted by applicants through either the AIF or NHB portal. In case of loan sanction under AIF, the complete data will be captured via API from the AIF portal, and the applicant needs to provide only a few additional required details, if any, the applicant can fill in the additional details online and save them on the NHB portal.
NHB has also streamlined the Detailed Project Report (DPR) and Bank appraisal note templates, making the process even more straightforward for applicants. After an application is submitted, an email will be sent to the applicant with a reply/confirmation link to the financing bank. The concerned bank needs to confirm the authenticity of documents online, and once that’s done, NHB will issue the GoC.
The stage of inspection of the location for GoC has been replaced with a mobile app-based self-inspection, making the process quicker and easier for applicants. Queries on GoC applications, if any, will be communicated to the applicant/Bank automatically by the system/email. And the cherry on top of the cake – the revised simplified process will reduce the present time for sanctioning of GoC/subsidy applications by 50-60%.
So there you have it, folks! The newly simplified scheme design by NHB is a game-changer for farmers and anyone interested in the agricultural industry. With minimal documentation requirements, a completely digital application process, and a reduced waiting time for GoC/subsidy applications, this scheme is set to revolutionize the way farmers get funding for their projects.
Key points at a glance
- The NHB offers subsidies for commercial horticulture and cold chain infrastructure ranging from 35-50%.
- The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has simplified the documentation and sanctioning process for these subsidies based on recommendations from a committee.
- The new process has become effective from 15.03.2023 and has eliminated the need for the In-Principle Approval stage.
- The simplified process requires a minimum documentation and is completely digital.
- The revised process will shorten the sanctioning time for subsidies from 6-8 months to less than 100 days.