National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has given an unequaled high sum of Rs 1,236 crore from its Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) during the monetary year 2020-21 with Rural Connectivity Projects (Roads and Bridges) as the priority field in the state of Assam.
Under RIDF XXVI, NABARD has also approved Rs 1150 crore to the Government of Assam for the construction of new infrastructure projects in 2020-21. These projects will result in the construction of 610 kilometers of rural roads, benefiting 1255 villages and affecting approximately 16 lakh people in Assam's rural areas, as well as the irrigation of 2472 hectares, the expansion of infrastructure growth of 2437 elementary schools, and the flood control of 23,397 hectares.
According to S S Saha, Chief General Manager, RIDF is one of the few low-cost windows for the State Government to access scarce capital at a low rate of interest to construct rural infrastructure. With the aim of doubling the income of the farming community in Assam, NABARD, in collaboration with the State Government, is working as a solution provider for the most critical agriculture and allied sectors.
While highlighting NABARD's numerous agricultural initiatives aimed at rural prosperity in Assam, Saha said that infrastructure development is a crucial pre-condition for integrated rural development.
Major investments in rural infrastructure are needed in sectors such as agriculture and its allied services such as soil and water resource management, irrigation, rural connectivity, renewable energy, and some social sectors to promote income enhancement, provide quality service, and easy access to market and other facilities to Assam's rural population.
NABARD has approved Rs 1.40 crore in grant assistance to 13 farm sector projects across the state, Rs 85 lakh for 36 Skill Development Programs with an emphasis on reverse migrant laborers, and Rs 85 lakh for the establishment of 8 Rural Haats as part of its developmental initiatives.
To address the liquidity constraints faced by Rural Financial Institutions (RFIs) as a result of the Covid-19 Pandemic, NABARD provided a Special Liquidity Facility (SLF) of Rs 272 crore to Assam Gramin Vikash Bank and Assam Cooperative Apex Bank Ltd. under the economic stimulus package to allow them to fully meet the crop loan requirements of small and marginal farmers.