Nabard aiding Bengal in rural-infra development official
Kolkata, Jul 13 (PTI) The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development is working closely with the West Bengal government for development of rural infrastructure, an official said on Wednesday.
Additional Chief Secretary (Finance) Manoj Pant said the Nabard had provided Rs 2,000 crore under the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund in the previous financial year.
Speaking at the 41st foundation day of Nabard in Kolkata, Pant expects the assistance to increase to Rs 2,500 crore.
The state government is leveraging on technology to raise agricultural productivity, the official said, adding that the performance of the farmers' producer organisations (FPOs) and the self-help groups (SHGs) had been satisfactory.
Pant said there were certain challenges, including marketing of products, regarding the FPOs and the SHGs, underlining that handholding was required to fill the gaps.
Nabard can play an important role as it can help in creating forward and backward linkages, he said.
Chief general manager A R Khan said the Nabard had provided nearly Rs 14,000 crore under various programmes, asserting that there would be a growth of 15-16 per cent this year.
Last fiscal, the Nabard had refinanced Rs 750 crore to the microfinance institutions in the state, where it has also collaborated with the IIT Kharagpur for incubating startups in the agriculture sector, Khan said.
Pant added that 19 departments are working closely with the Nabard at present, stressing on the need to remove asymmetry in information dissemination.