The regional office of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has announced Rs 8,000 crore credit plan for Maharashtra for the current fiscal. The primary focus of the credit plan is on crop loans.

At a news conference M V Ashok, chief general manager, Nabard regional office, said that the amount is 30 percent more than the Rs 6023.18 crore disbursed in 2011-12.

Nabard provides loans to the state cooperative bank, which disburses the amount among the district central cooperative banks. The district central cooperative banks work as apex bodies for cooperative banks and offer crop loans to farmers. These short term loans come at subsidised interest rates.

“Out of the Rs 6,023.18 crore disbursed in the previous financial year, the share of crop loan was Rs 4,035.5 crore,” Ashok said. “Through the rural infrastructure development fund the bank has injected Rs 1,777.84 crore. The funds are utilized for construction and maintenance of roads, bridges, irrigation projects and drinking water schemes, among others,” he added.

The recently-released State Economic Survey has shown 2 percent negative growth in the agriculture sector.

When asked whether Nabard’s funds are failing to boost growth in the agriculture sector, Ashok said, “Nabard is not the only source of investment in rural areas. Our share in the total loan disbursement for rural sector is 40%. If the agriculture sector is reporting negative growth, it is not because of resources or funds but because of unfavourable climatic conditions, sudden drop in production due to pests, etc.”

“In 2011-12, Nabard introduced warehouse construction projects. The government and private players were invited for developing warehouses and godowns across the state. These projects are expected to create a total storage capacity of 7.65 lakh tonne,” he said.

“The capacity of these warehouses ranges from 500 tonne to 3,000 tonne. The total sanctioned amount for developing warehouses and godowns in the state is Rs 460 crore, which is 31% of the investment taking place at the national level,” Ashok said.


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