New Delhi, Nov. 30 (PTI): The government today said it would operationalise the Rs 500-crore price stabilisation fund for plantation crops from April, 2003, to provide a safety net and mitigate problems of growers on account of low global prices.
A high-level committee headed by commerce ministry additional secretary L. V. Saptharishi today submitted its report on the operational modalities of this fund to the commerce and industry minister Arun Shourie.
Speaking to reporters after receiving the report, Shourie said the paper now would be sent to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs for final clearance.
Shourie said the fund was targeted at providing relief to small growers who are facing difficulties on account of depressed international commodity prices.
“The fund would serve as an insurance scheme wherein growers in good crop years can make a small contribution to the fund which can be accessed in times of distress,” he said. Shourie pointed out that Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, finance minister Jaswant Singh and agriculture minister Ajit Singh were in agreement on the need to have such a fund.
He said the contributory fund to be operational from April, 2003, will have an initial corpus of Rs 500 crore and cover 3.42 lakh plantation growers of tea, coffee, rubber and tobacco having an operational holding of up to 4 hectares.