Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Saturday asked Nabard to evolve special scheme for setting up skill development centres in villages to enable unemployed youth to earn their livelihood and wean away from menace of drugs.
He impressed upon the Nabard to work out modalities in this regard with prior consultation with the state government for effective implementation of the scheme.
Badal was addressing 33rd foundation day of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) here.
"It is practically not feasible to absorb entire youth in services sector especially in the government due to limited job opportunities and higher merit, thus the only alternative left with the state government is to impart skill development training to the youth to enable them to stand on their feet," he said.
Seeking wholehearted support and cooperation from the Nabard and its partner nationalised and cooperative banks to fund the state government's missionary programme of setting up rehabilitation centres for drug addicts, the Chief Minister asked them to contribute generously under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) towards this noble cause.
Badal also emphasised on the need for allowing more funding on the projects aimed at promoting agriculture diversification through allied activities like fishery, dairying, apiary and horticulture.
Badal lauded the enormous contribution made by Nabard in rural and agriculture development of the state adding that still lot more was to be done particularly for improving the economic lot of majority of unprivileged sections of the society residing in villages as they were grappling with penury and living in extreme pathetic conditions.
In this context, Badal urged the Nabard to reorient its policies and programmes to uplift people who were unable to get two meals square a day.
Earlier, the chief general manager of Nabard Naresh Gupta in his welcome address briefly outlined the schemes under RIDF, where Punjab had done exceptionally well and made remarkable progress especially in water supply and sanitation, irrigation, dairy and fisheries.
He said that Nabard was ready to fund state's rural development oriented programmes in view of its track of excellence in implementing schemes.
The agency was even ready to relax its norms for the inclusion of those schemes meant to boost its rural and agrarian economy, he added.
On the occasion, the Chief Minister launched an interactive website of Central Cooperative Bank Hoshiarpur and a special Dairy scheme in three districts of Jalandhar, Amritsar and Hoshiarpuir to give impetus to the dairy sector.