It was an irony, that our North-Eastern and Himalayan states were largely neglected by the consecutive Governments since independence. There was a lack of infrastructure, facilities for agriculture, and healthcare for decades. However, the Modi government has changed this notion since their arrival in 2014. They are working on building the infrastructure and other facilities like Airports, Railway lines, roads and have changed the face of Hilly states in the last 5-6 years.
Modi Government has announced a scheme under which a 50% subsidy will be provided for air transportation of 41 notified vegetables and fruits from North East and Himalayan states to any other state in the country.
This transportation subsidy will be provided as part of the ‘Operation Green Scheme TOP to TOTAL’. Airlines will provide the transport subsidy directly to the consignor/supplier/consignee/ agent by way of charging only 50 percent of the actual contracted freight charges and will claim the balance 50 percent from the Ministry of Food Processing Industries as subsidy.
Modi government has relaxed several other conditions under the ‘Operation Greens scheme’ for air transportation from eligible airports, all consignment of notified vegetables and fruits would be eligible for 50 per cent freight subsidy, irrespective of their price and quantity.
Twenty-one fruits—Banana, Mango, Kiwi, Guava, Litchi, Orange, Mousambi, Kinnow, Lime, Lemon, Papaya, Pineapple, Pomegranate, Jackfruit, Apple, Almond, Aonla, Passion fruit, Pear, Sweet Potato and Chikoo—are eligible for air transportation subsidy.
Following 20 vegetables – French beans, Bitter Gourd, Brinjal, Capsicum, Carrot, Cauliflower, Chillies (Green), Okra, Cucumber, Peas, Garlic, Onion, Potato, Tomato, Large Cardamom, Pumpkin, Ginger, Cabbage, Squash and Turmeric (dry) are also eligible for the subsidy.
The air transportation of these commodities is allowed from all the airports in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim (Bagdogra), and Tripura from North-East, and Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh among the hilly states, the statement added.
Earlier, the transportation subsidy was extended under Operation Greens Scheme for Kisan Rail Scheme with effect from October 12. Railways charge only 50 percent of freight charges on the notified fruits and vegetables. This scheme will revolutionize the fruit and vegetable production in these states.