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NABARD projects priority sector credit target of Rs.3.97 lakh Cr for Karnataka State during 2024-25

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NABARD releases “State Focus Paper for FY 2024-25”

NABARD organized the State Credit Seminar for Karnataka at their Regional Office in Bangalore on 30 January 2024. The event was chaired by Dr. Shalini Rajneesh, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary and Development Commissioner, Government of Karnataka and was attended by Shri. Hardeep Singh Ahluwalia, ED, Canara Bank, Shri. P N Raghunath, CGM, RBI, Shri Krishan Sharma, CGM, SBI and senior officials of State Government departments and bankers. During the seminar, the State Focus Paper 2024-25 which documents the credit potential under Priority sector in the State, was also released by the Chief Guest.

In his opening remarks, Shri T Ramesh, Chief General Manager (CGM), NABARD highlighted that NABARD has estimated a credit potential of Rs.3.97 lakh crore for priority sector lending in Karnataka during 2024-25 which is 10.67% higher than the previous years’ credit projection. Of the total, the share of agriculture sector including agri infrastructure and ancillary activities is Rs.1.85 lakh cr (46%), MSME sector is Rs.1.58 lakh crore (40%) and other priority sector activities is Rs.0.54 lakh cr (14%).

Discussing other initiatives of NABARD in the State, he mentioned that NABARD has been complementing the efforts of State Govt. in the wake of the severe drought situation, by extending financial support to the tune of Rs.990 crore for 119 irrigation projects and Rs.611 crore for drinking water projects under RIDF and sanctioning Rs. 290 crore under Micro Irrigation Fund for promoting sustainable irrigation practices, during the current year.

He also indicated that the Farmers Producers Organisations (FPOs) being promoted by NABARD in collaboration with other stakeholders have proven effective in integrating small and marginal farmers into agri value chain and enhancing their income. Taking this programme forward, NABARD is piloting an ‘FPO Accelerator Project’ with 30 FPOs from across the State, aiming at establishing better backward and forward linkages and leading the way for other FPOs in the State.

CGM also spoke about the centrally sponsored project on PACS computerization which is being implemented through NABARD. He informed that the process of computerizing 5491 PACS in the State is going on which will enable cooperative societies to offer seamless services to member farmers. He also underlined the challenges arising in agriculture sector due to diminishing natural resources and urged upon the need for concerted efforts by all stakeholders in promoting sustainable practices such as micro irrigation systems, farm ponds, shift towards less water intensive crops and so on. He expressed profound gratitude towards the ACS & DC and the State Govt for taking proactive steps to alleviate calamity induced distress and fostering rural prosperity in the State and assured of continued support of NABARD.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Shalini Rajneesh, IAS, ACS & DC lauded the efforts of NABARD in carrying out the credit planning exercise for each district in the State. She averred that in order to become a $1 trillion GSDP economy State by 2032, banks will have to focus on augmenting credit disbursement each year under different sectors including agriculture and allied sector. She also mentioned that the State Govt is facilitating disbursement of interest-free crop loans to over 19.97 lakh farmers and waiving off interest on overdue medium term and long-term agriculture and allied loans availed from cooperative institutions to provide relief to distressed farmers plagued by droughts in the State.

She also informed that the State Govt is developing a Carbon Credit Framework to incentivize smallholder farmers to transition to suitable agri-horti systems by monetizing the Carbon Removal units (CRUs). This path-breaking initiative will promote sustainable agriculture and better livelihoods for farmers. She urged all stakeholders to play their part and converge for fostering multidimensional growth in the State’s economy.

Shri. Hardeep Singh Ahluwalia, ED, Canara Bank in his address, complimented NABARD for their meticulous exercise of estimating credit projections for each district and aggregating it in the form of State Focus Paper and placed on record that the projections shall be taken into account while preparing the district-wise Annual Credit Plan for the year 2024-25.

Shri. P N Raghunath, CGM, RBI appreciated the efforts of NABARD in preparing a document as comprehensive as the SFP with a consultative approach. He highlighted the need to attain targets set for credit to Small and marginal farmers and Micro Enterprises for ensuring equitable growth in the State. Appreciating NABARD’s efforts for financial inclusion, he also urged the bankers to avail support from NABARD and conduct more programmes on digital and financial literacy.

Shri Krishan Sharma, CGM, SBI also assured that the banking community would play a catalytic role in realizing the credit potential in the State as exhorted by the Chief Guest.

A short film on Springshed Development in Uttara Kannada district and a booklet chronicling the success stories of select FPOs in the State were also unveiled during the State Credit Seminar.

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