Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry E.M.Sudarsana Nachiappan has assured Centre’s grant for establishing a spices park in the district, provided the farmers and traders formed an association and sent a proposal to the Centre after specifying their share of investment.

Addressing the Ramanathapuram Chamber of Commerce here on Sunday, he said the Centre was willing to extend 60 per cent grant for setting up the park if the farmers and traders acquired about 35 acres of land and invested 15 per cent of the total project cost.

If the farmers and traders invested 15 per cent, the State government would release 25 per cent and the Centre, the balance of 60 per cent grants.

“If you could send the project report at the earliest, I will ask the officials in my department to release the grants in the next one and a half months before the elections,” he assured.

The spices park in Sivaganga was established on the same lines, he said adding the Centre was also assisting the farmers and fishermen to set up cold storage facilities by releasing grants and regretted that there was no application from Tamil Nadu.

Grant

For establishing a cold storage facility at a cost of Rs one crore, the Centre was releasing a grant of Rs 60 lakh, he said.

Thanks to the Food Security Act, the Centre would be establishing six lakh fair price shops throughout the country and provide employment to six lakh people after supplying as many computers to the shops, he said.

Later, the Minister, accompanied by District Congress President A.Ravichandra Ramavanni, addressed the 20th memorial literary function of former Tamizh Sangam vice president T.Kuzhandai Chettiyar. The function was presided over by Mr P.Jagadeesan, president of Ramanathapuram Chamber of Commerce in the presence of Mr R.Sridhar, Ramanthapuram Chilli Traders’ Association.