Chandigarh, January 16, 2018-Shri Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Minister for Rural Development & Panchayat, Govt. of Punjab released the State Focus Paper for the year 2018-19 prepared by NABARD in the State Credit Seminar held in Chandigarh today.  The seminar was attended by  Shri Biswajeet Khanna, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary (Development); Shri D.K.Tiwari, Secretary, Expenditure,   Shri Nirmal Chand, Regional Director, RBI; Shri Sanjay Kumar,  General Manager, SBI and Shri P.S. Chauhan, GM-SLBC Convenor, Punjab.  Besides, senior govt. officials of various departments of the State Government, senior bankers, NGOs, representatives of Agril. Universities, progressive farmers also attended the seminar.  Shri Deepak Kumar, Chief General Manager, NABARD, Punjab Regional Office, Chandigarh presented the highlights of the State Focus Paper in the seminar. The State Focus Paper was released by the  Minister.

NABARD had projected a credit potential of Rs. 2,18,000 crore during 2018-19 in the State under priority sector.  This represents a growth of 10% over the projections of 2016-17 of the aggregate credit potential of Rs. 198737 crore.  The share of crop loan estimated at Rs. 93813 crore, which represents 43% of the total estimated potential.  Sector-wise potentials estimated under agriculture infrastructure (Rs.6150 crore), Agril. Ancillary (Rs. 13471 crore), agriculture term loan (Rs. 22091 crore), MSME loans (Rs. 39323 crore), export credit (Rs. 15160 crore), educational loan (Rs. 5668 crore), housing loan (Rs. 14503 crore) in the State Focus Paper.  Shri Deepak Kumar, CGM, Head of Punjab RO of NABARD while presenting the highlights of the State Focus Paper 2018-19 mentioned that theme of this year State Focus Paper is kept as  “Water Conservation – Per Drop More Crop” in view of the depleting water table for irrigation in the State.  He mentioned that crop diversification increasing crop productivity reducing cost of cultivation and supplementing incomes through allied activities and Off-Farm activities were the broad strategies for achieving the objective particularly doubling of farmers’ income by 2022. He also emphasized on the need for capital formation in agriculture and advised the banks and line departments for providing financial assistance to the farmers more for investment activities.  Besides, providing refinance assistance to the cooperative banks, RRBs and commercial banks, NABARD is also providing financial support to the State Government for creation of various infrastructure in rural areas of the State.  With a view to promoting digital banking in rural areas, NABARD has organized Financial Literacy Programmes, village level programmes and Go Digital Programmes through banks and Govt. Departments to create awareness among rural people about digital banking and financial literacy.  During the year, NABARD has launched water campaign – ‘Jal Jeevan Hai’ in 5000 villages of the State for creating awareness among villagers about efficient use of water and water conservation.  He appealed to the banks and line departments to work in coordination and tap the credit potentials estimated by NABARD upto maximum so that benefit may accrue to the ultimate farmer/villager.

Shri Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat, Govt. of Punjab lauded the efforts of NABARD in preparation of such a structured and comprehensive document, which reflects potential available under each sub-sector of the economy. He assured the State Govt. support for realization of credit potential by banks and Govt. Departments.  On the occasion, awards were given to the best performing Farmers’ Clubs, FPOs, SHGs and women entrepreneurs.  The forum deliberated on credit potential and infrastructure gap identified in the State Focus Paper besides strategising doubling of farmers’ income.