NABARD allocates Rs 761 cr for Bengal

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Kolkata, Apr 4: National Bank of Agriculture and Rural Development(NABARD) has allocated a normative amount of Rs 761 crore for 2008-09 under Rural Infrastructure Development Fund XIV as against the allocation of Rs 570 crore for the year 2007-08 under RIDF XIII for West Bengal.

NABARD Chief General Manager T Mohanaiah, while addressing a press conference on the achievements of the national bank in the last fiscal, said that NABARD had sanctioned loans amounting to Rs 583.89 crore for 3421 projects, as against the normative allocation of Rs 570 crore for the year 2007-08 under RIDF XIII for West Bengal government.

The total project outlay under RIDF XIII, including RIDF loan, has been estimated at Rs 670.62 crore. While rural connectivity, including roads and bridges, accounted for 42.3 per cent of RIDF loans, irrigation accounted for 15.6 per cent of the funds.

Speaking on SHG-Bank Linkage Programme in the state, the chief general manager said that under the bank's micro finance initiative, NABARD has done considerable work.

''During the year 65,234 groups were savings-linked and 46,832 groups credit-linked, taking the cumulative number of savings-linked SHGs to 3,53,303 and credit-linked SHGs to 2,28,616 groups as on March 31.'' About 4,730 bank branches have participated in the flagship programme of NABARD, he added.

Speaking on Farmers' Clubs, he said that at least 272 Farmers' Clubs were launched during 2007-08 taking the cumulative figure to 1726 in West Bengal. During the last fiscal, an amount of Rs 19.45 lakh was released to various implementing agencies as grant assistance.

Besides, the state government has, by way of refinance to banks and direct financing to state government, disbursed funds of Rs 1309.37 crore during the year 2007-08, 12 per cent more than that of the previous year.

Meanwhile, the regional office has released a total refinance of Rs 521.23 crore under Investment Credit as against the target of Rs 505 crore for the year 2007-08. This included Rs 240.77 crore to commercial banks.

The schemes have facilitated creation of employment opportunities for at least 3.13 lakh persons.

Laying special emphasis on Adivasi Development Programme, Mr Mohanaiah said, ''We have tried to implement Wadi approach, aiming at sustainable livelihood for tribal families in blocks of Ranibandh and Bandwan in Bankura and Purulia district respectively, covering 2000 families, with an investment Rs 8.56 crore. The funds were equally shared by NABARD and the West Bengal Government.'' However, only 1200 families have been covered so far. Until, March 31, a total amount of Rs 50 lakh had been released to the implementing agencies as grant assistance.


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