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Rs 50,000 cr credit for agriculture sector

98Finance minister Arun Jaitley said the government’s program Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana will have an outlay of Rs 50,000 crore over a period of five years (2015-16 to 2019-20) and the government intends to commit the surplus resources back into rural infrastructure and irrigation. Speaking at a national seminar on Mitigating Agrarian Distress and Enhancing Farm Incomes at Nabard on the occasion of the 34th foundation day of the development bank, he said redistribution and growth are both necessary.
Praising the efforts on Nabard, he emphasised the importance of rural infrastructure in catalyzing growth.
The finance minister released a book outlining the role played by Nabard in creating and operating the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund. He also launched ‘Rural Tracker’, an online portal developed by Nabard to provide information concerning agriculture and rural economy.
Harsh Kumar Bhanwala, CMD, said Nabard has set a target of providing Rs 30,000 crore as credit to farmers for irrigation over the next three years. The bank has already sanctioned Rs 1000 crore this year, he said adding the this funding will be in addition to the government’s recent announcement of providing Rs 50,000 crore of loans to farmers over the next five years under the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY). Bhanwala said the bank has been accredited by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) as the national implementation agency for climate change at the rural level. There are 20 such entities like the World Bank and Asian Development Bank among others, which have already been shortlisted. And from the entire South Asia, Nabard is the only one which has been shortlisted for the purpose.
H.R. Khan, deputy governor, RBI, said while agricultural credit has increased exponentially, there are many causes of concern relating to regional spread and cost of finance especially since 40% of agricultural credit is still coming from informal sources.

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