The Financial Assistance Scheme (FAS) is an export promotion scheme run by APEDA. APEDA is an export promotion body under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry for the promotion of Agricultural and Processed Food Products. The scheme has been open and implemented for the period of 2021-22 to 2025-26. The scheme aims to facilitate the export of agri-products by providing assistance to exporters. It achieves its objective through the following:
- Understanding the several challenges faced by agri-exporters.
- Acknowledging the need for assistance to successfully navigate through these challenges and achieve the objectives of APEDA.
Financial assistance is provided in three broad areas, namely:
- Development of Export Infrastructure
- Infrastructure, Quality Development and
- Market Development.
The details of each scheme such as scheme name, launch date, ministry/dept. name, scope, objectives, salient features, target beneficiary, benefits, etc. are as follows:
Development of Export Infrastructure:
APEDA recognizes the importance of infrastructure for the growth of agro-industries and the export of agricultural products in the value chain. The scheme component covers both fresh produce and processed food products. The objective of the scheme is to reduce losses caused due to spoilage and to ensure quality production of agro products. To achieve this, it seeks to set up post-harvest handling facilities. Under this component, assistance is provided for the following:
- Infrastructure such as packhouse facilities with packing/grading lines
- Pre-cooling units with cold storage and refrigerated transportation etc.
- Cable system for handling crops like banana
- Common infrastructure facilities
- Pre-shipment treatment facilities such as irradiation, Vapour Heat Treatment (VHT), and Hot Water Dip Treatment (HWDT) for compliance with Phyto-Sanitary requirements of importing countries
- Infrastructure for processing facilities (process food sector) for addressing missing gaps which may include equipment like X-ray, Screening, Sortex, filth/metal detector, sensors, vibrators, or any new equipment or technology for food safety and quality requirements.
To participate/engage in international trade, it is necessary to comply with the Food Safety requirements of different countries. Several importing countries demand adherence to stringent Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs). Some of the developed importing countries have set up MRLs at a very low level. For this, high to a ceiling of Rs. 600 lakhs. The funds shall be released against the bank guarantee.
Quality Development Scheme: Implementation and certification of quality and food safety management systems, standardization, harmonization with international standards for adoption of global standards, and handheld devices for capturing farm-level peripheral coordinates for traceability systems.
Beneficiaries: APEDA registered exporters are eligible to apply for assistance, Certification Bodies accredited under the National Program for Organic Production (NPOP), State Agencies, trade bodies, Chambers of Commerce, Government agencies, FPO, SHG, FPC, Cooperatives, and individual farmers and listed laboratories are eligible for assistance.
Benefits: The assistance will be upto50% of the total cost subject to a ceiling of Rs. 5 lakh and 20 lakh per certification. The assistance will also be applicable for the renewal of certifications. The 20 lakh are applicable as in the case of Procuring hand-held devices including the cost of software for capturing farm-level peripheral coordinates for traceability systems. This will include any electronic management system, software, blockchain, Artificial Intelligence (AI), or any other high-precision technology.
Beneficiaries: It includes APEDA registered exporters, trade delegations, promoters of GI products, Central/State Govt. agencies, Trade chambers, Indian missions abroad, etc.
Benefits: The benefits and their components would be decided and implemented by APEDA.
As in the case of New Market / Product development through conducting feasibility studies. There are two criteria
- Assistance will be up to 50% of the total cost subject to a ceiling of Rs. 10 lakhs per study per beneficiary.
- Assistance will be up to 75% of the total cost subject to a ceiling of Rs. 10 lakhs per study per beneficiary if conducted by Trade Associations/Indian missions abroad/Central/State Govt. agencies/ exporters belonging to North – Eastern States, difficult areas namely Himalayan and landlocked states, Island Union Territories, SC/ST, and women beneficiaries.
- For activities initiated by APEDA, the funding shall be 100%
As in the case of Assistance for trial shipment covering multimodal transport. Assistance will be up to 50% of the total cost subject to a ceiling of Rs. 10 lakhs as in the case of Registration of Brand / IPR outside India.
- Assistance will be upto50% of the total cost subject to a ceiling of Rs. 20 lakhs per beneficiary
- 100% in the case of APEDA.
Development of Export Infrastructure: Assistance for the Establishment of Processing and Supply Chain Infrastructure:
1. The assistance will be up to 40% subject to a ceiling of ₹200 lakhs.
2. The assistance will be up to 90% of the approved cost subject as in the case of assistance under 1(f), as per Operational Guidelines of APEDA.
1. APEDA registered Exporters are eligible to apply for assistance under 1(a)-(e) Central and state government institutions and public sector enterprises are eligible to apply for assistance under 1(f), as per Operational Guidelines of APEDA.
2. Assistance will be applicable for all APEDA scheduled products.
3. The date of submission of the online application in APEDA shall be considered as the date of receipt of the application for grant of In Principle Approval. The expenditure incurred prior to the date of submission of the online application in APEDA shall not be considered for assistance. However, any expenditure incurred after submission of the online application but before issuance of IPA shall not automatically become eligible for assistance and shall be subject to the final decision of APEDA taken in this regard.
4. In the case of exporters belonging to North-Eastern states, difficult areas namely Himalayan and land-locked states, Island Union Territories, SC/ST, and women beneficiaries, the assistance will be up to 75% for all activities. However, overall financial ceiling limits in all cases shall remain the same.
5. The following exporters shall be deemed to fall under the SC/ST category:
a) In case of a proprietary concern, the proprietor shall be SC/ST.
b) In the case of a partnership firm, the SC/ST partners shall be holding at least 51% shares in the unit.*
c) In the case of private limited companies/Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)/Farmer Producer Companies (FPCs), at least 51% of shares shall be held by SC/ST directors/promoters.*
(*The partner/director/promoter should hold at least 51% share in the unit for the preceding one year of application for financial assistance and the holdings of SC/ST partner/promoter/director shall remain at least 51% for the subsequent period of at least two years of reimbursement of the financial assistance. In this regard, an undertaking has to be submitted by the applicant.)
6. The following exporters shall be deemed to fall under the Women Entrepreneur category
a) The concern should be in existence for at least one year
b) In case of a proprietary concern, the proprietor shall be a woman
c) In the case of partnership firms/FPOs/FPCs/LLP/Private Limited companies, all the partners/directors/promoters shall be women.
7. For organic products, the unit should have scope for processing under the NPOP requirements
8. APEDA shall charge a processing fee as approved by the Department of Commerce (DoC), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India on the disbursed amount which is presently 5% + GST as applicable. The processing fee shall be deducted at the time of release of funds to the applicant.
9. The assistance under the Financial Assistance Scheme of APEDA is available to register exporters or other organizations such as Central/State agencies, FPOs, etc. for APEDA Scheduled Products.
10. The application should be accompanied by the following documents duly self-certified. It should be submitted physically within 30 days from the date of the online application otherwise, the application will be cancelled.
11. For the purchase of new equipment, quotation/ proforma invoice/ bills should be obtained from a minimum of three Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) or their authorized distributor/ dealer of the equipment. The quotations shall be sought from a minimum of 3 suppliers. The applicant is free to place a work order at any of the three bidders however, APEDA’s assistance shall be computed on the lowest quoted rate.
12. In case of a feasibility study the quotation has to be sought from the reputed consulting firms having experience of 5 years in the relevant field.
13. The quotations should clearly show the address, GSTN, TIN and PAN, product description with detailed specifications, validity date, and item-wise cost/unit and total amount. Technical brochure/literature/Pamphlet depicting equipment details in case of infrastructure/laboratory equipment/any other assets etc. with clear mention of the utility
14. Wherever civil work is involved assistance by APEDA shall be restricted only to Technical Civil Work required for the project The cost estimate depicting the Bill of Quantity, rate/unit, and total amount duly certified by a Chartered Engineer or Civil Architect shall be submitted for civil work.
15. The grant will be restricted only to the plant and machinery and technical civil work created after submission of the online application. The financial assistance towards the technical civil work component of the project shall be limited to a maximum of 25% of the total eligible financial assistance of that application. However, any expenditure incurred after the submission of the online application but before the issuance of IPA shall not automatically become eligible for assistance and shall be subject to the final decision of APEDA taken in this regard.
16. The training program/schedule/calendar or prospectus of the institutions illustrated in Annexure 8 shall be submitted along with the application.
17. The exporter shall submit online quarterly export performance from the assisted unit, on the APEDA website even if the export is nil.
18. In-principle approval (IPA) of APEDA is required for all components of the scheme except for Lab testing charges as mentioned under sub-component 5.
19. Subsequent to the issuance of the IPA, amendments in the same can be considered at the request of the applicant but within the validity of the IPA.
20. The request for an extension of IPA may be considered by APEDA on a case-to-case basis on merits.
21. APEDA reserves the right to get the projects appraised from an outside agency. In case the project is not found viable, the application shall not be considered. The grant of In-Principle Approval shall be based on eligible items and activities only and any expenditure on ineligible items or activity shall not be considered.
22. APEDA reserves the right to intervene in the charges fixed by the agencies that are not commensurate with the services rendered to the exporters.
23. The decision of APEDA relating to the admissibility of the claim shall be final and the mere filing of the application shall not provide any right to claim financial assistance
24. Any change in ownership/management of the company shall be the responsibility of the exporter to get the same incorporated in the Registration cum Membership Certificate (RCMC) issued APEDA.
25. Reimbursement of eligible assistance from APEDA will be back-ended, upon completion and submission of the claim by the applicant in accordance with the terms and conditions of the In-Principle Approval letter issued and subsequent physical verifications by APEDA.
26. It is the responsibility of the applicant to file final claim documents complete in all respects well before the expiry of the original or extended validity, if any, of the In-Principle Approval letter.
27. If the applicant/beneficiary has more than one manufacturing unit at different locations, APEDA may consider assistance for each such separate unit. However, such units must be first incorporated into the IEC and APEDA RCMC.
28. The Budgetary allocation to APEDA is given by the Department of Commerce. The actual allocation may vary from year to year. Disbursement of assistance is subject to actual budget allocation by the Government. Financial assistance is provided subject to the availability of the funds in APEDA and grants by the Government.
29. Financial assistance is provided subject to continuation of the scheme. There shall be no claim by the applicant in carrying forward the application for financial assistance beyond the plan period (2021-26)
30. The applicant has to comply with the requirement of Registration/license with the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and/or any other regulatory authorities.
31. The beneficiary getting financial assistance under the Integrated pack-house, reefer van, cable car, or up-gradation of the facility should not sell his/her unit before five (5) years of disbursement of financial assistance.
32. Exporter should submit a declaration stating that no financial assistance has been availed from any state/center agency. If the application is also submitted to other state/center agencies, then details for it should be submitted in an online application.
33. APEDA reserves the right to conduct pre-inspection of the unit and/or site of the applicant before putting up to the Technical Committee.
34. The application will be summarily rejected in case it is found incomplete, unsatisfactory pre-inspection report, and not as per the guidelines prescribed.
35. All matters of dispute arising out of the APEDA financial assistance scheme (FAS) shall be governed by Indian law and subject to Court jurisdiction in New Delhi only. Both parties shall make all efforts to resolve any dispute by way of reconciliation. In the event of any question, dispute, or difference arising under the Scheme in connection therewith remains unresolved, the same shall be referred to the Chairman, APEDA, and his decision shall be final.
1. The members who are not registered with APEDA are not eligible to apply for assistance under the scheme.
1. For Govt., PSU, and Others: Online application
2. For Exporters: Online application
Document submitted needs to be duly signed by the Competent Authority/ authorized signatory [When original documents are in the regional language they should be accompanied by self-certified English/ Hindi translation]:-
- Documents such as Detailed Project Report (DPR), Chartered Engineer Certificate, etc. in the format given in Annexure – I.
- A detailed appraisal note, specific to the scheme, from the lending Bank/Financial Institution, if applicable.
- Certificate of incorporation/ registration of the applicant, Memorandum and Articles of Association in case of Company/Bye-laws of the applicant, etc.
- Annual reports and Audited Financial Statement of Accounts of the applicant for the last two years.
- Self-attested English/ Hindi version of main facility land documents in support of land title in the name of the applicant or land lease, duly registered with the competent authority for a minimum remaining period of 15 years.
- Change in Land Use (CLU) permission for the project for the main facility land from the competent authority.
- Free hold land/ equitable mortgage free from all incumbencies and in possession of the applicant is a pre-requisite for consideration of assistance. In case of any dispute for land at any stage, which results in a change in the land status, during the execution of the project or thereafter, APEDA shall recover all assistance amount along with interest (as per GFR) and penalty without assigning any reason thereof.
- Three quotations from the suppliers of Plant and machinery and equipment, etc. for the project except in case of imported/proprietary items.
- The applicant has to submit copies of necessary permissions from Central, State, and other statuary bodies for setting up the facility/ project.
- A copy of the term loan sanctioned from the bank/financial institution for this project, if applicable, should be attached.
- Drawing/layout diagram of the project duly approved by the Chartered Engineer.
- In case the applicant/beneficiary is availing loan from any bank/ financial institution, a detailed appraisal note from the bank/financial institution specific to the proposal should be submitted. Detailed Project Report /Techno Economic Viability Report merely stamped or endorsed by the Bank/ FI without a detailed appraisal note shall not be considered a valid appraisal note and such proposals will not be considered for financial assistance.
- In case the applicant/beneficiary is not availing loan from any bank/ financial institution, a detailed appraisal note with justification and feasibility of the proposed project, endorsed by the Competent Authority of the applicant organization should be attached.
- Applicants who have availed or are in the process of availing grant from any other agency shall have to intimate APEDA at the time of submission of DPR regarding it and in case a grant has been availed for the same component(s) from any other Govt. agency, the applicant shall not be eligible for financial assistance from APEDA for the same component(s).