Chandigarh22.01.21-,NABARD Punjab Regional Office, Chandigarh organized the State Credit Seminar on 21st January 2021. Sh. Manpreet Singh Badal, Hon’ble Finance Minister was the Chief Guest at the seminar. The State Focus Paper for the year 2021-22 was released by the Hon’ble Minister on the occasion. Among senior state government officials and bankers, the seminar was also attended by Sh. Vikas Garg, Registrar Cooperative Societies, Sh. Jyoti Kumar Pandey, Regional Director, Reserve Bank of India.

Dr. Rajiv SiwachCGM NABARD informed that NABARD has projected a credit requirement of ₹ 2.5 lakh crore during 2021-22 in the state of Punjab under Priority Sector Lending. This represents an overall growth of about 9% over the projections for 2020-21. Of the aggregate credit potential, the share of Crop Loan is pegged at ₹98400 crore (39% of total), Agriculture Term Loan at ₹46800 crore (19%).

Sh. Manpreet Singh Badal, Finance Minister, reminded the stakeholders of Farz (responsibility) with Fiqr (sincerity) towards the future of the Country and eradication of ills such as poverty which still persists.The Hon’ble Minister gave a call to the people of Punjab to once again lead the country as they always have. The Minister referring to the issue of crop diversification, called for an MSP component for backing farmers who shun stubble burning, mobilize projects for harvesting Biofuels rather than implementing forceful policies. He also outlined the potential of goat sector and the promise of Punjab in being the Goat State of the country. Such livelihood activities have the potential to support an export based meat industry. Acknowledging the resource constraint induced by the pandemic, he underlined the importance for readiness to counter such pandemics in future. He called out NABARD to organize more such seminars focused on startups and FPOs. He also advised banks to keep a check on over financing in agriculture which has led to debt trap among farmers.

Dr. Rajiv Siwach, Chief General Manager, NABARD Punjab informed that the theme of the current year’s State Focus Paper was “Collectivization of Agricultural produce for Enhancing Farmers’ Income” which aimed at improving farm economy through promotion of Farmers’ Producers’ Organization to take benefit of economies of scale. Highlighting concern about stagnation in agriculture productivity and depleting water tables, Dr. Siwach advocated incentive based policy initiatives by state government for diversification. The large number of rural and semi-urban bank branches in the state may gear up to provide investment credit for agriculture and allied activities including agro-processing, value supply chain so that Panjab’s economy can be revived in the post-covid era.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Jyoti Kumar Pandey, Regional Director, RBI, highlighted the historical entrepreneurial role of Punjab’s people right from the days of Green Revolution for taking India’s economy forward. He advised the Banks and State Level Bankers’ Committee to synergize their Annual Credit Plans with NABARD’s Potential Linked Plans that are based on bottom up approach.He underlined the importance of MSMEs and Priority Sectors for realizing the export potential of the State. He called upon the banks to rise up to the occasion and provide the economy, its much needed lubricant in form of institutional credit.

Sh. Vikas Garg, IAS, Registrar of Cooperative Societies, Punjab underlined that Cooperatives are primarily catering to the needs of small and marginal farmers. He added that amalgamation of the DCCBs with the Punjab State Cooperative Bank Ltd. will help in adoption of technology so that it can meet requirements of rural people. Sh. Garg lauded NABARD for its ₹ 2000 crore Special Liquidity support during covid pandemic to the Rural Financial Institutions in the state, out of which ₹ 500 crore has been released to the PSCADB for its revival.