Chandigarh, May 5, 2015: The Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today emphasized the need to popularize the concept of micro infrastructure to ensure balanced growth in the villages in accordance with the felt needs of the people.
Presiding over a review meeting of micro infrastructure development in villages of Punjab taken up as a joint initiative by NABARD and the state Government here at the regional office of the NABARD, the Chief Minister asked the NABARD to replicate this model of Micro infrastructure in other parts of the state for the holistic development of rural areas. Currently, the model of Micro infrastructure development was being implemented on pilot basis in the villages of the South west Punjab. Badal asked the Rural Development & Panchayati Raj Department to act as Nodal Department for the state Government to collaborate with NABARD and NABCONS for taking the project forward.
Appreciating the role of NABARD in funding various infrastructure activities in the State and specifically that of Dr. Harsh Kumar Bhanwala, Chairman, NABARD in getting the pilot project initiated for Punjab, the Chief Minister also lauded that the financial assistance to the tune of over Rs. 10,000 crore extended by NABARD through banks, state government, NGOs, etc. during 2013-14, which has led to easier access of loan at the farmer level as also creation of infrastructure like roads, water supply, irrigation, removing water logging, promotion of women Self Help Groups (SHGs), Joint Liability Groups (JLGs), etc. He also lauded the support provided by NABARD to the cooperative sector.
While welcoming the new CGM OF Punjab Regional Office, Dr. PM Ghole, the Chief Minister commended the contribution of Mr. Naresh Gupta, as Chief General Manager of NABARD in giving further impetus to the overall rural development in the state.
Taking part in the deliberations, the outgoing Chief General Manager of NABARD (Punjab Region) Mr. Naresh Gupta highlighted the major activities of NABARD in partnership with the state Government, banking system and NGOs. He also briefly mentioned about specific initiatives relating to prevention of burning of paddy straw, setting up of Agro Service Centres, promotion of SHGs /JLGs, addressing water logging related issues, financial support by NABARD to cooperative banks for setting up of Micro ATMs, Rupay KCC for farmers, Financial Literacy Centres for educating/counseling farmers for banking/loan related issues etc.
Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer, NABCONS- a consultancy wing of NABARD Krishan Jindal highlighted the process undertaken by NABCONS in conduct of survey of identified villages and suggested that for taking the concept of micro infrastructure forward, a road map was being evolved so as to firm up specific roles of various stakeholders as also sources of funding.
Prominent amongst other present in the meeting included Additional Chief Secretary (Development) uresh Kumar, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister SK Sandhu, Additional Chief Secretary (Animal Husbandry) MS Sandhu, Secretary (Expenditure) Jaspal Singh, Registrar Cooperative Societies AS Miglani, Director and Special Secretary C Sibin besides other senior officers of the state government and NABARD.