The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has sanctioned Rs 1,084.93 crore as loans to 4,027 Gujarat government-run projects under the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) in the financial year 2008-09. The move is an effort to foster rural prosperity in the state.
NABARD informed that 20 per cent of the sanctioned amount has already been issued and feedback on the progress of projects is expected from the state government.
S G Siddesh, Chief General Manager, NABARD Regional Office, Ahmedabad, said, “NABARD has also sanctioned five innovative projects covering a financial assistance of Rs 54.01 lakh (under the Rural Innovation Fund) in farm, non-farm and micro-finance sectors.” The bank has set up a Tribal Development Fund especially to aid tribal development in the state. The financial outlay in the sector last year was Rs 663.79 lakh for the replication of the ‘Wadi Project’ in all the tribal districts of the state, Siddhesh added.
To add to it, NABARD had also provided a total refinance support of Rs 996.27 crore to the banking sector, out of which Rs 331 crore was provided under the long-term investment credit and the remainder of Rs 665.27 crore was provided to three regional rural banks and six district Central cooperative banks.
Siddhesh also informed that NABARD had contracted 33 assignments last year under the NABARD Consultancy Services (NABCONS), in which it educates the bankers to judge the viability of a particular project.
NABARD’s other initiatives include Rs 9 lakh for promoting 405 farmer clubs in the state; Rs 177.38 lakh for 30 watershed development projects; Rs 1,979.95 lakh to set up 1,425 rural godowns and seven cold storages; and Rs 82.35 lakh to 32 NGOs for promoting and credit linking 2,750 Self Help Groups with the banks.
NABARD also has conducted promotional programmes like the Rural Entrepreneurship Development Programme (REDP) and Skill Development Programme (SDP), under which educated unemployed rural youths are motivated to set up their own ventures.
During 2008-09, 86 REDPs/SDPs were sanctioned to NGOs and corporates involving a financial support of Rs 46.11 lakh, officials added.