After being inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 17 this year, the new market yard at Fatehpur in Gujarat’s Amreli is very much in the news. In fact, its unique model of financing has grabbed eyeballs, apart from garnering praise from PM Modi. What’s different in this yard from the others is that it is being built with hardly any state support or bank loans. PM Modi’s Gujarat model of development has taken another leap with the formation of the 45-acre Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) yard.
And behind the successful implementation of the market yard is P P Sojitra, chairman of the Amreli Agricultural Produce Market Committee, who was the BJP’s Amreli district unit general secretary from 2012 to 2015. Soitra took the help of local farmers and initially bought 17 hectares from 10 farmers in Fatehpur, paying Rs 90 lakh per hectare each, reported The Indian Express. The APMC had only Rs one crore of savings to start with. “To raise resources, we first demolished a dilapidated shed in the old yard and constructed 200 shops there. These were, then, auctioned off on a 99-year lease basis. Net of building costs, we could mobilise Rs 20 crore,” Sojitra told The Indian Express.
The auction sheds in the old APMC yard was converted into platforms for vegetable retailing and provision stores with spaces granted on lease that generated Rs 37.24 crore by the end of 2013. Interest was also taken from traders for taking on lease 200 shops to be built in the new market yard. “Only for the balance amount, we had to avail of a Rs 25 crore NABARD loan, of which Rs 10 crore has been withdrawn. The only help we took from the state government was a Rs 5 crore grant under the Kisan Kalpvruksha Yojana, a scheme to fund creation of vegetable markets within APMC premises,” Sojitra told The Indian Express.