Tatsat Chronicle Magazine

National Horticulture Board Simplifies Procedures From Availing Subsides Under Central Schemes

March 15, 2023

Considering the demand of the farming community to simplify the documentation and sanctioning process under the schemes of National Horticulture Board (NHB), the matter has been reviewed by Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare and based on the recommendations of a duly constituted committee, the scheme design, documentation and sanctioning process has been simplified.

NHB under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare operates back-ended capital investment subsidy schemes for promotion of commercial horticulture and cold chain infrastructure in the country.   Under these Schemes, subsidy from 35 to 50 percent is provided for various components as per prescribed cost norms.

The new scheme design will be effective from March 15.  The salient features of the simplified scheme are:

1 NHB has now done away with two stage system of In-Principle Approval (IPA) and Grant of Clearance (GoC). IPA will not be needed now and applicant will apply straightaway for Grant of Clearance to NHB after sanction of term loan by bank. The term loan sanctioned within 3 months from the date of online application to NHB shall be treated valid.

  1. IPA system has been replaced with Letter of Comfort (LoC) to the desirous applicants to facilitate them to get the term loan sanctioned from the banks and financial institutions (FIs) for their proposed project. However, LoC is not mandatory unlike IPA and it will be issued to only those who so desire as a facility letter to get their term loan sanctioned from the banks and Fls for the proposed project.
  2. Minimum documents are now required for seeking LoC.
  3. The processing of LoC application will be completely digital, including examination and sanction of applications. The platform has been augmented with the timeline monitoring systems, so that every step can be monitored as per the pre-set target timelines and alerts can be sent to the processing officer and applicant at regular intervals and escalation matrix has been put in place based on ageing analysis of pendency at officer level.
  4. Applicant will be free to apply for LoC either at AIF or NHB portal. In case loan is sanctioned under AIF, the entire data will be captured as such from AIF portal through API and additional minimum required details, if any would be filled by the applicant online and saved at NHB Portal.
  5. NHB will follow short templates for DPR and Bank appraisal note as prepared by NHB    after taking into account the template available on AIF.  After application is submitted, automatically an email will be sent to the applicant along with a reply/confirmation link to the financing bank. Concerned bank needs to confirm the authenticity of documents online. Based on the confirmation of documents by the bank NHB will issue GoC.
  6. The stage of inspection of the location for GoC has been replaced with a mobile app based self-inspection.. Queries on GoC applications, if any, will be communicated to the applicant/Bank automatically by system/email.  Subsidy claim documents will also be submitted by bank/applicant online.

The revised simplified process will not only shorten the timelines for sanctioning of LoC and subsidy applications but would greatly help the farming community with minimum documentation process.  The new system will cut down the present time for sanction  of GoC from 6-8 months to less than 100 days.