Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur today while presiding over the State Credit Seminar 2019-20 organised by National Agriculture and Rural Development Bank (NABARD) said that bankers should focus more to improve the investment credit by funding more area based schemes around identified potentials which would also increase the income of the farmers and help in achieving the target of the government to double the farmers income by the year 2022.
The Chief Minister said that sustainable agriculture practices needs to be focused on soil fertility through the use of green manure, crop rotation and mixed cropping for effective use of natural resources. He said that that total bank credit for the year 2019-20 for priority sectors has been estimated at Rs. 23631 crore, showing an increase of 5.6 percent over the previous year plan of Rs. 22389 crore.
Jai Ram Thakur said that the role NABARD in development of Himachal Pradesh particularly in the field of rural development, agriculture and irrigation and public health was commendable. NABARD was also playing a major role in strengthening the economy of the farming community of the State. He said that the self help groups in the State were doing a laudable work in various sectors and the government was also ensuring all possible help to these NGOs.
He said that the wild and stray animals were causing a major damage to the crops of the farmers and due to which at times farmers have even stopped cultivation due to this menace. He said that for this several steps have been initiated by the State government. He said that 85 percent subsidy was being provided for solar fencing to protect the crops of the farmers from stray animals.
Jai Ram Thakur said that since 90 percent of the population of the State lives in rural areas and main occupation of the people being agriculture. He said that thus it was futile to even think of development without welfare of these areas. He said that the State government has enhanced the subsidy for green house from 50 percent to 70 percent and 60 percent subsidy was being provided on anti hail guns.
He also directed the departmental officers to work on the infrastructure gaps identified by the NABARD suitably and incorporate in the budget 2019-20. Under RIDF 5566 projects such as rural roads, bridges, minor irrigation schemes, rural drinking water, education, watershed, dairy development etc., amounting to Rs. 6798 crore have been sanctioned and an amount of Rs 4696 crore have been disbursed in the State. He said that an amount of Rs. 544.21 crore had been sanctioned and Rs. 371.48 crore disbursed during the current financial year in various projects under RIDF.
The Chief Minister said that under Watershed Development Programme as many as eight watershed development projects have been funded in Solan, Una and Sirmour districts through NABARD’s watershed development fund. He said that women self help group programme was being implemented by NABARD through local NGOs in Mandi and Sirmour districts with a support grant of Rs. 3.11 crore with target for formation and credit linkage of 1500 women self help groups and 1455 women self help groups respectively.
The Chief Minister released the ‘State Focus Paper 2019-20’ brought out by the NABARD on the occasion. He also released magazine ‘Niharika’ on the occasion and also honoured various SHGs and Organisation for best performance in different fields on the occasion.
Chief General Manager NABARD Ranbir Singh welcomed the Chief Minister and other dignitaries present on the occasion and also detailed various activities of NABARD. He said that the State focus for the year 2019-20 presents the exploitable potentials in terms of physical and financial qualifications together with sectoral analysis to strategise an implementable state credit plan for the overall growth in priority sector in the State. He said that the climate change project was also being implemented in the Solan district and the Bank was also providing all possible help to the women self help groups for marketing their products. He also stressed the need to linkage of all the cooperative societies with the Banks.
A documentary on various activities of the NABARD was also screened on the occasion.
Irrigation and Public Health Minister Mahender Singh Thakur, RBI representative K.C. Anand, Special Secretary Finance D.D. Sharma and other senior officers of the State Government and NABARD were present on the occasion among others.