NABARD Conducts Punjab State Credit Seminar for 2023-24

Chandigarh, Jan 10 ( P2P) : NABARD, Punjab Regional Office, Chandigarh organized the State Credit Seminar 2023-24 on 10 January 2023. Sh. Harpal Singh Cheema,  Finance Minister, Govt. of Punjab graced the occasion as Chief Guest. Sh. Ajoy Kumar Sinha, IAS, Principal Secretary, Finance; Smt Garima Singh, Secretary, Finance; Sh. M.K. Mall, Regional Director, RBI; and Sh. Pushkar Tarai, SLBC-Convener were the distinguished guests attending the seminar. The meeting was also attended by Govt. line Departments, Senior Bankers, PAU, GADVASU, NGOs, FPOs and SHGs, etc.

FM Cheema in his address congratulated NABARD for successfully conducting the State Credit Seminar 2023-24 with a credit potential of Rs.2.73 lakh crore having major share at 57% for agriculture sector. He said that NABARD has suitably captured the constraints and potentials in agriculture and rural development sector and advised the government departments and bankers to take leads from the State Focus Paper while formulation of policies and plans for the coming year. Sh. Cheema highlighted the efforts initiated by Govt. of Punjab for the promotion of sustainable development of agriculture through budgetary support towards agriculture and allied activities. Sh. Cheema impressed upon the fact that State government is increasing the capital outlay to improve infrastructure of the State and lauded efforts of NABARD in improving the critical rural infrastructure through RIDF. He discussed that focus of the State will be on diversification with millet crops as year 2023 is being observed as International Year of Millets.  The Finance Minister called upon all stakeholders including banks to collaborate with Punjab Govt. and NABARD to realise Punjab’s growth potential. He expressed hope that the potential identified by NABARD under priority sector will further help in growth of Punjab.

He appreciated the efforts made by progressive farmers, SHGs and NGOs and assured complete support from Government of Punjab. Unit Cost booklet for Farm Sector Activities in Punjab was also unveiled at the Seminar. Sh. Cheema emphasized that the banks should use it for financing the bankable projects.

Sh. Raghunath B. CGM, NABARD, Punjab in his address elaborated on the State Focus Paper which was launched in the Seminar. The State Focus Paper has estimated that under priority sector the State has a credit potential of ₹2.73 lakh crore for FY 2023-24 with agriculture sector having a share of 1.56 lakh cr. He sought the support of Stake holders in realizing this potential. Sh. Raghunath spoke on NABARD’s developmental role in the State. He elaborated about  the  support to Rural Financial Institutions as well as  to Government for creation of rural infrastructure. Further, NABARD has also supported projects in farm sector like crop diversification, reclamation of alkaline soil in Sangrur and Patiala, setting up of pashu palak tele advisory Kendra, application of AI in livestock management, etc.

He also underlined the important role played by cooperatives in financing the agrarian economy of the State. He stated that implementation of the project on PACS Computerization will further strengthen service delivery to farmers, help in product diversification and enhance efficiency and transparency in the working of PACS.

The need for enhancing farm income through agro-processing units, value-chain development and post-harvest Management infrastructure with support of various schemes of State as well as centre was also emphasized.

Smt Garima Singh, Secretary, Finance, Govt. of Punjab emphasised that all present stakeholders are equal partners in national building and should come together for the same.  She congratulated NABARD for its contribution in the development of the State.

Shri M.K. Mall, Regional Director, RBI, congratulated NABARD for bringing out a balanced State Focus Paper. Sh Mall called upon the bankers and stakeholders to leverage the diaspora of Punjab for export growth in the State through value addition of agri products. Sh Mall also underlined the significance of financial literacy and financial inclusion for children for the good financial behaviour of families. He also requested the govt for digitisation of land records for hassle free credit availability to farmers.

In the seminar, NABARD also felicitated the Banks, FPOs, Cooperatives, Joint Liability Groups (JLG) & Self Help Groups (SHGs) for their good performance. A walk-through Exhibition highlighting the field interventions of NABARD was also organized and appreciated by the Finance Minister & other dignitaries.