Bajwa urges NABARD to make its credit norms suitable to Punjab

Chandigarh, February 12: Punjab Rural Development and Panchyats Minister Mr. Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa on Wednesday urged NABARD to make policies, programs and guidelines according to the specific needs of the States. He also emphasized that NABARD should make its credit norms suitable to Punjab, which has needs to develop existing basic infrastructure.

NABARD held the State Credit Seminar for 2020-21 with the Credit Potential of Rs. 230664.81 crore for the state of Punjab. Mr. Bajwa also released the State Focus Paper for the year 2021-22 prepared by NABARD in the State Credit Seminar held here today.

NABARD has projected a credit flow of Rs. ₹230664.81 crore during 2020-21 in Punjab under Priority Sector Lending, as per the revised norms outlined by the Reserve Bank of India. Of the aggregate credit plan, the share of Crop Loan is pegged at Rs. ₹98211.12 crore (43% of total), Agriculture Term Loan at Rs. ₹23899.46 crore (10%), MSME at Rs. ₹42091.60 crore (18%), Agricultural Ancillary activities at Rs. ₹15002.60 crore (7%), and Agriculture Infrastructure at Rs. ₹6580.58 crore (3%).

Bajwa lauded the efforts of NABARD in preparation of such a structured and comprehensive document, which reflects the potential available under each sub-sector of the state rural economy. He assured all possible support from the State Government for the realization of the projected credit potential and targeted development.

He advised banks to provide credit for capital intensive units like dairy, poultry, fisheries etc. and also for Agro-processing units to enhance farm income with the objective to double the same by the year-2022.

He emphasized the need of setting up of mini as well as commercial dairy units, piggery, poultry as well as small orchards in farmer’s fields to supplement their income.

Additional Chief Secretary (Development) Mr. Viswajeet Khanna also praised the efforts of NABARD for promoting farmer and farming supportive projects like FPOs as well as the focus NABARD gave to Hi-tech Agriculture in its State Focus Paper.

Chief General Manager Punjab Regional Office of NABARD Mr. J.P.S. Bindra said that the theme of the current State Focus Paper is “Hi-tech Agriculture”. Considering stagnation in agriculture productivity, depleting water tables, environmental concerns and paucity of labour, he said, adoption of Hi-tech Agriculture by farmers would give them better returns and resolve these issues to a large extent.

To achieve objectives of farm and rural development, crop diversification, increasing crop productivity, reducing cost of cultivation, ensuring remunerative prices to farmers and supplementing their income through allied and off-farm sector activities would be the future strategies, he added.

Highlighting the new initiatives of NABARD in Punjab, he said that NABARD has launched its flagship initiative “E-Shakti” for digitization of the Self Help Groups in 10 districts of the state. Advocating the need for collectivization in farming sector, he detailed about the concept of Farmer Producer Organizations.

103 FPOs have been promoted by NABARD in Punjab. He called upon all stakeholders to make use of the State Focus Paper in preparing their action plan for 2020-21, so that there is all-round development in the agriculture and rural sectors of Punjab through bank credit and related services.

Jyoti Kumar Pandey, Regional Director, Reserve Bank of India informed about the various steps taken by NABARD for financial inclusion and raising digital awareness.

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