From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Scheme for formalization of Micro Food Processing Enterprises (FME)
Mains level : Food processing industry and the required reforms
The Union Cabinet has given its approval to a new Centrally Sponsored Scheme – “Scheme for Formalization of Micro food processing Enterprises (FME)” for the Unorganized Sector on All India basis.
Practice question for mains:
Q. Discuss the scope and significance of Food Processing Industries in India. Also discuss how can it benefit India becoming the global food store.
- There are about 25 lakh unregistered food processing enterprises which constitute 98% of the sector and are unorganized and informal.
- Nearly 66 % of these units are located in rural areas and about 80% of them are family-based enterprises.
- This sector faces a number of challenges including the inability to access credit, high cost of institutional credit, lack of access to modern technology, inability to integrate with the food supply chain and compliance with the health & safety standards.
- Strengthening this segment will lead to a reduction in wastage, creation of off-farm job opportunities and aid in achieving the overarching Government objective of doubling farmers’ income.
Details of the Scheme for FME
- The Union Cabinet has sanctioned an outlay of Rs.10,000 crore.
- The expenditure will be shared by GOI and the States in the ratio of 60:40.
- It will be a Centrally Sponsored Scheme. Expenditure to be shared by the Government of India and States at 60:40.
- 2, 00,000 micro-enterprises are to be assisted with credit linked subsidy.
- The scheme will be implemented over a 5 year period from 2020-21 to 2024-25.
- Cluster approach.
- Focus on perishables.
Support for Individual micro-units:
- Micro enterprises will get credit-linked subsidy @ 35% of the eligible project cost with a ceiling of Rs.10 lakh.
- The beneficiary contribution will be a minimum of 10% and balance from the loan.
- On-site skill training & Handholding for DPR and technical upgradation.
- The scheme will be rolled out on All India basis.
- Seed capital will be given to SHGs (@Rs. 4 lakh per SHG) for the loan to members for working capital and small tools.
- Grant will be provided to FPOs for backward/forward linkages, common infrastructure, packaging, marketing & branding.
Administrative and Implementation Mechanisms
- The Scheme would be monitored at Centre by an Inter-Ministerial Empowered Committee (IMEC) under the Chairmanship of Minister, FPI.
- A State/ UT Level Committee (SLC) chaired by the Chief Secretary will monitor and sanction/ recommend proposals for expansion of micro-units and setting up of new units by the SHGs/ FPOs/ Cooperatives.
- The States/ UTs will prepare Annual Action Plans covering various activities for implementation of the scheme, which will be approved by the Government of India.
- A third-party evaluation and mid-term review mechanism would be built in the programme.
- The State/ UT Government will notify a Nodal Department and Agency for implementation of the Scheme.
Establishment of a National Portal & MIS
- A National level portal would be set-up wherein the applicants/ individual enterprise could apply to participate in the Scheme.
- All the scheme activities would be undertaken on the National portal.
Benefits of the Scheme
- Nearly eight lakh micro-enterprises will benefit through access to information, better exposure and formalization.
- Credit linked subsidy support and hand-holding will be extended to 2,00,000 micro-enterprises for expansion and upgradation.
- It will enable them to formalize, grow and become competitive.
- The project is likely to generate nine lakh skilled and semi-skilled jobs.
- The scheme envisages increased access to credit by existing micro food processing entrepreneurs, women entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs in the Aspirational Districts.
- Better integration with organized markets.
- Increased access to common services like sorting, grading, processing, packaging, storage etc.