The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given its approval for extension of timeline up to March 31, 2022 and revision/ re-appropriation of approved components of Prime Minister's Development Package (PMDP) for development of horticulture in the UTs of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh under Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH).
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved to extend the timeline for implementation of PMDP approved in 2016 beyond 31st March 2019 by 3 years with provision of further extension of time by a maximum period of 12 months, if required, with approval of Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, read a statement.
It has approved revision/re-appropriation of earlier approved components of PMDP within the approved outlay of Rs 500 crore between UTs of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh with the provision of further revision, if required, with the approval of Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare within the overall financial limit of Rs 500 crore.
Also, it has approved revalidation of unspent amount of Rs 59.07 crore remaining with undivided state of Jammu and Kashmir including Ladakh.
The action plan under PMDP has therefore been modified within the approved outlay of Rs 500 crore earmarking Rs 39.67 crore for UT of Ladakh and Rs 460.33 crore for the UT of Jammu and Kashmir.
The statement added that the implementation of PMDP in the UTs of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh region is expected to generate an estimated 44 lakh mandays employment and will also result in employment in allied sectors such as grading/packing units, Cold Atmosphere (CA)/Cold storage units and transportation sector etc.
As the high density plantation involves technology and regular upkeep of orchards, therefore, it will 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 statement added.
Prime Minister's special package for Jammu and Kashmir for Rs500 crore with Rs 450 crore Government of India share towards restoration of damaged horticulture areas and development of horticulture in the state of Jammu and Kashmir was approved in 2016 for implementation over a period of three years up to March 31, 2019. The special package included one- time relaxation in MIDH cost norms for import of planting material of special varieties of apple plants for better survival, early flowering and enhanced fruiting and four wire trellies system expected to increase the productivity 3-4 times.
However, due to time consuming process for import of planting material and quarantine issues, the implementation of PMDP was delayed and the state of Jammu and Kashmir requested for extension of time-line for implementation and also revision/re-appropriation in the components of the approved action plan, the statement read.
Further, the state of Jammu and Kashmir was bifurcated into two Union Territories with effect from October 31 which required revision of physical and financial targets under PMDP separately between the UTs of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
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