NABARD calls on state govt to avail low cost funds
Gangtok, Apr 12 (UNI) The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has asked the Sikkim government to avail low cost funds from the bank to step up infrastructure development and creation of employment opportunities.
The bank would offer low cost assistance for investment in eco-tourism and mini hydel-power projects, NABARD Deputy General Manager K R Nair said here today.
The Ground Level Credit (GLC) flow in the state had increased substantially from Rs 12 crore in 1999-2000 to Rs 124.56 crore during 2000-05, showing a huge rise during the last five years, he said.
The bank also has a provision to provide low cost loans for the food processing industry, agro-processing and infrastructure sector, he added.
Mr Nair said NABARD has fixed a target of Rs 150.56 crore credit plan in the current financial year for the commercial banks operating in the state.
A sum of Rs 1606.85 lakh had been projected for agriculture and the allied sectors, Rs 547.02 lakh for non-farm sector and Rs 12901.99 lakh for other priority sectors during the period, he said.
As per the directives of the Union government, NABARD had also asked the commercial banks to double their farm loan by March next year, Mr Nair said .
''Around 90 per cent of the total population of the state live in rural areas. Despite the rise in quantum of loan disbursement the banking system had not been able to reach the rural households,'' Mr Nair added.
He called upon the commercial banks to change their mind set and move from representative banking to participatory banking with the help of the NGOs and community based organisations to expand their credit base.
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