The Centre on Monday approved a Rs 453-crore loan at a subsidised interest rate of five per cent to the Tamil Nadu government for setting up three fishing harbours.
The funds will be released from the Fisheries and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund (FIDF) that has a corpus of Rs 7,522 crore.
An agreement was signed between the Union fisheries ministry, Tamil Nadu government and the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) in the presence of Fishery Minister Giriraj Singh in New Delhi.
"We have begun the process of giving loans under the FIDF. Tamil Nadu is the first state which has signed the agreement today," Singh said after the signing of the agreement.
Besides, Jammu and Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telangana, Mizoram, Assam and Kerala have submitted proposals seeking a total loan of Rs 2,751 crore so far, he said.
The loan is given for a tenure of 12 years and there would be moratorium of two years on repayment of principal. The Centre is providing interest subvention of 3 per cent on the loan released from the FIDF.
Under the FIDF, NABARD will provide funds to the tune of about Rs 2,600 crore through state governments for developing only public infrastructure like fishing harbour, fish landing centres, modernised state fish seed farms, fish markets, disease diagnostic labs and aquatic quarantine facilities.
Loan from the FIDF to private sector players is also given through commercial banks. So far, the Centre has not received any proposals from private players.
As per the official data, the Tamil Nadu government has submitted a proposal seeking a total loan of Rs 836.80 crore form this fund, while Andhra Pradesh government has sought Rs 1,295 crore, Telangana Rs 265 crore, Jammu and Kashmir Rs 104.96 crore, Maharashtra Rs 99 crore, Assam Rs 21.65 crore, Kerala Rs 19.42 crore and Mizoram Rs 8.57 crore.
Senior officials from the ministry as well as from Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir governments were present at the event.