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Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation, Shri Amit Shah addresses the 42nd Foundation Day function of NABARD as the chief guest
New Delhi | 12 July 2023

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Shah opined that NABARD though is a bank should work with a mission as per its primary mandate of fostering rural prosperity. He pointed out that NABARD is a unique organization, without which meaningful development in rural ecosystem is not possible. NABARD, during its eventful journey of 41 years, have contributed through various initiatives of; refinance, launching of innovative credit delivery mechanism like KCCs, JLGs, SHGs, Banking Correspondents, improving the rural infrastructure through RIDF, improving the financial health of co-operative banks & RRBs etc. He highlighted that NABARD is instrumental in purveying ground level credit flow in agriculture to the tune of Rs. 21.00 lakh crore in the year 2022-23. Loan sanctions under RIDF for rural infrastructure projects was to the tune of Rs. 5 lakh crore as on 31 March, 2023. A total of 7.5 crore farmers have been issued with KCC in the country, he mentioned. He pointed out that about 60% of irrigation potential of the country has been realized through the infrastructure fund assistance by NABARD. Shri Shah also commended NABARD’s initiatives to strengthen the rural cooperatives through a number of initiatives like ‘PACS computerization, IT based technology upgradation, Capacity building of co-operative personnel, Co-operative data base etc.

Shri Amit Shah highlighted some of the proactive steps taken by the Government of India for the growth of Cooperative Sector. He said that Honorable Prime Minister Sri Narendra Modiji has got specific vision for upliftment of rural poor and specifically women. Under the able guidance and visionary leadership of honorable Prime Minister Sri Narendra Modiji, the poor were facilitated to open bank accounts, provided cooking gas connection through the PM Ujwala Yojana and food under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana.

Shri Amit Shah further said that the new ‘National Cooperative Policy’ is being formulated to realize the vision of “Sahakar Se Samriddhi” which also is close to the heart of Honorable Prime minister. The Government’s decision to computerise the 63,000 Primary Agriculture Credit Societies (PACS) with an outlay of Rs.2,516 crore will bring transparency in their business operations. He further added that Government has decided to convert all the PACS as Multipurpose PACS (M-PACS) so that they can carry out all kinds of credit & non-credit related activities. He gave examples of some of the activities that M-PACS can carry-out like, providing hassle free loans through KCCs, creation of godowns, agro-service centres, provision of CSC e-Governance Services, petrol pump, Jan Oushadhi Kendra etc. The other initiatives of Govt of India include; draft model bye-laws, developing a robust database of cooperatives, formation of new societies in uncovered panchayats, building the world’s largest grain storage in the cooperative sector.

On this occasion, Shri Shah distributed Micro-ATMs and Rupay Kisan Card to the dairy farmers of milk societies of Banaskantha and Panchmahal District Central Co-operative Banks and expected that other DCCBs should take proactive steps in providing such cards to their members through PACS. He pointed out that using the card dairy farmers will be able to undertake digital transactions.

Addressing the event, Dr. Bhagwat Kishanrao Karad, Hon’ble Minister of State for Finance congratulated NABARD for its immense contribution to the agriculture and rural development of the Indian economy. NABARD has been providing concessional refinance to Rural Co-operative Banks and RRBs to ensure seamless flow of credit to farmers, which is noteworthy, according to the minister. Dr. Karad also lauded the efforts of NABARD in the field of Financial Inclusion, SHG-Bank Linkage Programme, Rural infrastructure development, Watershed development, Tribal development through Wadi projects, promotion of Farmer Producers Organisations, skilling of rural youth etc,.

Shri Shaji K. V., Chairman, NABARD, welcomed the dignitaries and the delegates. He highlighted the fact that NABARD, over the past 4 decades, has been serving the rural community to achieve a sustainable growth. He expressed gratitude to all the stakeholders comprising of Government, RBI, Banks, NGOs, Agri Start-ups, Rural community, without whom realization of NABARD’s mission is not possible. He assured that NABARD will continue to be the torch bearer of rural development and will continue to improve the socio-economic conditions of the rural populace for the coming decades.”

There were also two panel discussions during the course of the event, one on ‘Unlocking Climate Finance for India: The Role of Strong Intermediaries’ and other one being ‘Prospects and Future of Rural Digital Finance’.

Concluding the event, Shri P V S Suryakumar, Deputy Managing Director, NABARD, expressed gratitude to Shri Amit Shah, Hon'ble Union Minister for Home and Cooperation, the Chief Guest and Dr. Bhagwat Kishanrao Karad, Hon’ble Union Minister of State for Finance, Guest of Honour. He also expressed thanks to all senior officials of Govt of India, Banks, NGOs, NABARD officials and other stakeholders for attending the event in large numbers.

Shri Gyanesh Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of Cooperation also attended the event.

The foundation day function was attended by more than 1000 delegates comprising of Chairmen & Board of Directors of Rural Co-operative Banks as also their Chief Executive Officers, MD of PNB, Chairmen of Regional Rural Banks, Senior officials from Ministry of Co-operation, Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Agriculture, Govt of India, NGOs, experts in agriculture & rural development, Agri Start-ups, etc,.

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