Punjab has been sanctioned a credit limit of Rs 1.41 lakh crore for the financial year 2015-16, starting from April 1. Chief secretary Sarvesh Kaushal on Friday said the sanction plan was based on an assessment by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard).
Nabard chief general manager Naresh Gupta told HT that the announcement of the plan meant that the state could raise loans to this limit for agriculture and allied fields such as dairy, animal husbandry and horticulture, and micro-level entrepreneurs. Various banks and Nabard would offer this credit.
Kaushal appreciated the role played by Nabard in addressing the credit and developmental needs of the state, especially in rural areas, and also achieving the targets set in previous years. He sought cooperation of banks and financial institutions in liberal financing to the rural youth so that the issue of migration from rural to urban areas was addressed.
Unveiling the ‘state focus paper’ projecting a credit plan of Rs 1.41 lakh crore prepared by Nabard, Kaushal said it reflected the aggregate potential available with Punjab for financial year 2015-16 under various sectors and sub-sectors.
Banking scheme for dairy sector
The chief secretary also launched a banking scheme plan for the dairy sector in five districts, namely Ludhiana, Nawanshahr, Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur and Amritsar, to give impetus to agriculture term loan financing by banks.
Kaushal said Nabard, since the inception of the rural infrastructure development fund, had supported 8,215 projects at a cost of Rs 9,769 crore, including Rs 3,525 crore for dairy development, Rs 1,733 crore for storage and market yards, Rs 2,892 crore for farm mechanisation, Rs 1,490 crore for poultry, and Rs 353 crore for plantation and horticulture.
Gupta, who mentioned the highlights of the ‘state focus paper’ for 2015-16, said the objective was to sustain 4% agriculture growth during the 12th Five-Year Plan.