NCDC sanctions Rs 3583 crore, releases same amount for 2007-08

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New Delhi, Jun 23 (UNI) The National Cooperative Development Corporation(NCDC) has recorded a spectacular performance by sanctioning Rs.3583 crore and releasing an assistance of Rs.3562 crore during 2007-08, thus exceeding its target of Rs.2000 crore.

NCDC is expecting a pre-tax profit of Rs.130 crore- substantially higher than the previous fiscal .

Agriculture and Cooperative Minister Sharad Pawar who presided over NCDC's 66th General Council meeting here today expressed the hope that the corporation would continue to work with same zeal to achieve higher standard of excellence.

Since its inception and upto 31st March, 2008, NCDC has cumulatively disbursed an assistance of over Rs.18657 crore for development of cooperative sector.

The Minister mentioned that agriculture is the mainstay of Indian Economy which supports more than half a billion people by providing employment to nearly 52 per cent of work force of the country. Recognising the importance of the agrilcultural sector and the challenges being faced by it, Mr Pawar said his Ministry has initiated several policies and programmes to reverse the long neglect of agriculture with a view to increase the crop production, improve farm income and also achieve the targeted growth of 4 per cent in the agricultural GDP.

To achieve these, public sector investment in agriculture has been stepped up and the minimum support prices (MSP) payable for foodgrains have been enhanced.

Mr Pawar acknowledged that though the cooperative system is providing vital support services to sustain agricultural production, it still suffers from dependency on the government. He, however, said the government was committed to reform the cooperative system to restore and ensure democratic, autonomous and professional functioning of cooperatives through appropriate policy changes including constitutional amendment which has already been introduced in Parliament.

Mr Pawar said the country had achieved an all time record production in major crops like rice, wheat, maize, tur and cotton and the agriculture growth rate is estimated at around 4.5 per cent for 2007-08. Agriculture growth will give further push to the GDP growth rate.

The meeting was attended by Secretary, Agriculture and Cooperation and NCDC General Council's Vice President Dr P K Mishra, NCDC MD Rajiv Agarwal and the representatives of various government departments , financial institutions and the cooperative sector.

The meeting primarily approved activities of NCDC for the year 2008-09 with a financial outlay of Rs3000 crore, allocating Rs.233 crore for weaker sections programmes, Rs 966 crore for marketing, Rs.450 crore for industrial/credit/service cooperatives, Rs.165 crore for integrated cooperative development projects (ICDP). And 38 per cent of the total outlay i e Rs 1134 crores earmarked for agro-processing including sugar cooperatives.

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