Tribune News Service
New Delhi, December 11
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs today extended till March 31, 2022, the Prime Minister’s development package for horticulture in the UTs of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh under the Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture.
The CCEA, chaired by PM Narendra Modi, decided to extend the timeline for the implementation of PMDP approved in 2016 beyond March 31, 2019, by three years until March 31, 2022, with the provision of further extension of time by a maximum period of 12 months if required with the approval of the Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
Nod was also given for the revision and re-appropriation of the earlier approved components of the PMDP within the approved outlay of Rs 500 crore between the UTs of J&K and Ladakh with the provision of further revision, if required, with the approval of the Agriculture Minister within the overall financial limit of Rs 500 crore.
The revalidation of unspent amount of Rs 59.07 crore remaining with the undivided state of Jammu and Kashmir, including Ladakh, was also approved.
The action plan under the PMDP now stands modified within the approved outlay of Rs 500 crore earmarking Rs 39.67 crore for Ladakh and Rs 460.33 crore for the UT of Jammu and Kashmir.
The implementation of the PMDP in the UTs of Jammu & Kashmir and the Ladakh region is expected to generate an estimated 44 lakh mandays’ employment and result in employment in allied sectors such as grading and packing units, cold storage units and transportation sector.
As the high density plantation involves technology and regular upkeep of orchards, the CCEA said the decision would also result in overall wage enhancement in the horticulture sector due to the increase in the farmers’ income as a result of the increase in productivity.
The PM’s special package for J&K for Rs 500 crore with Rs 450 crore Central share towards the restoration of damaged horticulture areas and development of horticulture in the state of H&K was approved in 2016 for implementation over three years till March 31, 2019.
However, on account of the loss of time in the import of planting material and quarantine issues, the implementation of the PMDP was delayed and the state of J&K requested for the extension of timeline for implementation and revision and re-appropriation in the components of the approved action plan.
Further, the state of J&K was bifurcated into two Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh from October 31, 2010, which required the revision of physical and financial targets under the PMDP separately between the UTs of J&K and Ladakh.
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