New Delhi, Feb 24 (ANI): Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar on Tuesday appealed to the cooperative sectors to ensure a fair share of benefits of growth to small and marginal farmers. Pawar assured them that the policy environment will be more supportive of healthy growth and development of cooperatives.
"Significant contribution has been made by cooperatives in sectors like agricultural credit, sugar, dairy, textiles, fisheries, distribution of fertilizers and inputs, storage and marketing. But we cannot afford to rest on our laurels. Our efforts should be to ensure that cooperatives continue to play an important role in the economy of the country even in the liberalized market environment as they are important instruments for inclusive growth," Pawar said on the sidelines of general council meeting of the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC).
Pawar further added, "NCDC disbursed total funds to the tune of Rs. 3,563 crore thereby registering an increase of 78 per cent in disbursements against the target of Rs. 2,000 crore, and bringing its cumulative assistance to Rs. 18,659 crore by the end of March, 2008."
Pawar also informed that Assistance for cooperative programmes in the under developed states is provided on comparatively liberal terms.
"During the year 2007-08, Rs. 2,111 crore were disbursed to cooperatively under developed states under various schemes, constituting about 59 percent of the disbursement made during the year. Cumulatively, financial assistance of Rs. 8,285 crore has been released to cooperatively under/least developed States/UTs. As on 31.3.2008 accounting for nearly 44 percent of the total assistance of Rs. 18,659 crore released by NCDC," Pawar added. (ANI)