Chandigarh, November 20, 2012: The Punjab government has requested Union government to cut interstate on agriculture credit by NABARD by minimum 2% to give boost to this sector besides accelerating its growth. The Punjab has pleaded that agricultural sector could be strengthened by ensuring availability of long and short term credit on lesser interest rate to the farmers.
It was disclosed by Parminder Singh Dhindsa, Finance Minister, Punjab while delivering a key note address at the inaugural function of two day National Conference of Agricultural and Rural Development Banks (ARDBs) here. The conference is being organized to explore the possibilities to strengthen the cooperative movement in the nation.
Dhindsa said that the state government is committed to strengthen the cooperative movement in the state, which was responsible for the emergence of green revolution and overall rural development. He said that the Punjab Government has impressed upon the centre government on various platforms to modernize the cooperative movement with the state-of-the-art technology.
The Finance Minister urged upon the centre government to lower the rate of interest for the long and short term credits to the agriculture banks through NABARD at least by 2 per cent. He said that the Agricultural Banks are forced to extend credit to the farmers at higher rates as they themselves receiving investment credit from NABARD on higher rates. He said that this is an unwelcome step for the farm sector. He reiterated that by lowering the interest rate on investment credit, not only Agricultural Banks would be able to generate more revenue on the other hand farmers could also improve their economics.
Dhindsa said that the Punjab Government in the recent meeting with the center government urged them to consider the structural reforms in the long and short term credits and also to implement the recommendations of the Vaidyanathan Task Force. He further said that the implementation of the recommendations of Vaidyanathan Task Force could play a catalytic role in ensuring the pace of rural development. He also described the positive outcome of special schemes like; Mai Bhago Scheme and Bhai Kanhaiya Health Insurance Scheme implemented by the state government and Agro service Centres functioning in the state.
K. Sivadasan Nair, Chairman, National Fedration of State Cooperative Agriculture and Rural Development Banks from Kerala, K.K. Ravinderan, Managing Director and Vishwajeet Khanna, Principal Secretary, Cooperation and G. S. Mangat, MD, PARDB also addressed the gathering. Delegates from Kerala, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Punjab and other states is participating in this conference.