The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for one time relaxation of Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) cost norms for implementation of PM's Special package for Jammu & Kashmir towards restoration of damaged horticulture areas and development of horticulture in State. CCEA approved the following:
- Import of planting material at the maximum rate of Rs.460 per plant for 329 hectares of new apple orchards and restoration of 3900 hectares of old damaged apple orchards. The rate of financial assistance shall be 90% i.e 90% shall be borne by the Government and 10% by the beneficiary farmer.
- Import of 4 wire trellis system at the rate of Rs.9.8 lakh per ha for 329 ha of new apple orchards. The rate of financial assistance shall be 50% i.e. 50% shall be borne by the Government and 50% by the beneficiary farmer.
- Applicability of MIDH cost norms for the interventions approved for implementation of PM's Package in J&K till financial year 2018-19.
- Additional fund requirement of Rs. 111.89 crore, Rs. 171.66 crore, and 166.48 crore amounting to Rs. 450 crore in FY 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 respectively as 90% Government of India share in the overall package of Rs.500 crore.
PM’s special package for J&K included Rs.500 crore towards restoration of damaged horticulture areas and development of horticulture in the State.
One time relaxation in MIDH cost norms was approved for import of special varieties of plants for better survival, early flowering and enhanced fruiting apple planting materials and four wire trellies system which may increase the productivity 3-4 times.
It will benefit about 21,000 orchardists located in more than 491 villages where horticulture areas of more than 5200 ha. was severely damaged by floods/landslides in September 2014.
CCEA approval would help in setting up of 329 ha of new apple orchards and restoration of 3900 ha of damaged orchards over a period of 3 years with overall financial implication of Rs. 500 crores with Rs. 450 crores as central share.
High and medium density apple plantation would generate round the year employment for 3300 and 18,000-20,000 people respectively. These initiatives will also result in employment in allied sectors such as grading/packing units. CA/Cold storage units and transportation sector etc. As the high density plantation involves technology and regular up keep of orchards, therefore, it will also result in wage enhancement n overall horticulture sector due to the increase in the farmer’s income as a result of the increase productivity.
It may be recalled that in 2014, the State had suffered due to the devastating floods of September, 2014. The infrastructure was destroyed due to floods. After the floods, the Prime Minister visited Kashmir on 23rd October, 2014 to spend time with those who were affected by floods and understand their problems and status of their relief and rehabilitation work. He met many delegations, from political parties, from trade representatives, from NGOs and citizens groups.
During his visit he talked about improving road connectivity and overall development of the State. He also announced to provide Rs.570 Cr. under Prime Ministers’ National Relief Fund (PMNRF) for providing assistance for construction of houses of the affected families. An amount of Rs. 565 Cr. has been already provided to 2.18 lakh affected families directly through their bank accounts.
The Government of India has been working on post flood long term reconstruction measures to improve the infrastructure in the State. The Government has been proposing to work towards development of key infrastructure in thrust sectors like Power, Health, Roads and Highways, Tourism, Textile, Food processing, HRD and Water resources etc.
Considering above, and the commitment for development of the State of J&K, the Hon’ble PM on his visit to J&K State on 07.11.2015 announced Prime Minister’s Development Package for the State of J&K with financial assistance of over Rs.80,000 Cr.