Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Tuesday gave in-principle approval to the state's projects worth Rs 660 crore for the current fiscal under various schemes of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).
A decision to this effect was taken by the CM during a high-level meeting with a seven-member NABARD team led by its regional chief general manager Naresh Gupta.
The CM okayed the projects for construction and upgradation of roads worth Rs 380 crore, Rs 140-crore drinking water supply system, Rs 100 crore for revamping the network of canals and drains, Rs 30 crore for setting up sewage treatment plants (STPs) and Rs 11-crore farmers' contributory project of brick-lining of water courses.
Expressing concern over the rapidly depleting groundwater in the state, Badal asked the irrigation department to prepare a comprehensive plan to recharge the same and sought NABARD's support to fund this task.
Reviewing the pace of ongoing development works, Badal assured Gupta that all sanctioned funds under various schemes would be optimally utilised. He asked the principal secretary, finance, to regularly monitor the progress of schemes funded by NABARD.
Gupta apprised the CM of various other schemes being funded by NABARD. He said NABARD had approved Rs 12 crore for 320 agricultural societies to advance subsidised loans for the purchase of tractors and other agricultural implements.
It was also informed that NABARD had launched a unique funding scheme for farmer clubs to bring awareness among them, besides funding self-help groups of women for capacity-building. Gupta stated that under the NABARD Infrastructure Development Authority (NIDA), they were providing funds to cope with requirements of rural infrastructure.