New Delhi: The slow pace of implementation of the Cold Chain scheme, which was aimed at checking wastage by creating storage facilities, had defeated the purpose of the scheme, a parliamentary committee has said.
In a report, tabled in Lok Sabha earlier this week, the panel said the cold storage projects undertaken by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries since 2011-2012 were still under implementation and the scheme had not progressed “at desired pace and direction”.
“The slow pace of implementation of the scheme defeats the very purpose of the scheme… Presently, the Ministry is assisting 236 cold chain projects. Out of 236, 102 projects have been completed and 134 are under implementation,” it observed.
“The committee are apprehensive that with this pace of implementation, it would not be possible to complete the projects within stipulated time frame.”
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture in its reports on ‘Implementation of Scheme for Integrated Cold Chain and Value Addition Infrastructure’ has also said that lack of proper storage facilities are leading to “national wastage” and “endangering the livelihood of farmers”.
It said the problem can be addressed by creation of a country-wide integrated cold chain infrastructure network at block level and district level.
The committee recommended that the ministry should raise the issue with the Finance Ministry seeking additional allocation in order to complete the projects in the stipulated time-frame.
It also said the farmers in the country faced lot of hassles on transportation of their surplus produce to the cold storage located at far off places from their farm.