For the financial year FY 2021-22, which is 15.46 % higher than the previous year 2020, the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) estimates a credit capacity of Rs 32316.03 crore for Assam.
As much as Rs 17586.21 crore (55 %) is for Agriculture and Allied sectors of the total estimated credit capacity. In addition, Rs 10872.45 crore (34 %) credit potential was projected for the MSME industry, while Informal Credit SHGs/JLGs credit potential was pegged at Rs 1093.56 crore; Rs 2403.32 crore was projected for the Housing and Education Sector.
The theme of the State Focus Paper 2021-22 is ‘Agricultural Product Collectivization for Farmers’ Income Improvement.’ Chief Minister Assam Sarbananda Sonowal launched the State Credit Seminar 2021 and released NABARD’s State Focus Paper 2021-22.
NABARD was complimented by the Chief Minister for organizing the State Credit Seminar and praised the Potential Related Credit Plans and the State Focus Paper, which describes the available exploitable credit potential under the State Economy Priority Area, mostly used by banks and government agencies as reference documents.
In an agriculture – based State like Assam, the Chief Minister asked RBI, NABARD, SLBC Assam, banks and Government Agencies to work in harmony to boost institutional funding for this critical sector of the economy.
S. S. Saha, Chief General Manager, NABARD, Assam Regional Office, affirmed that NABARD is striving to achieve the two-fold objective of ‘Agricultural Commodity Collectivization’ and ‘Doubling the Income of Farmers by 2022.’
Saha said that the Assam government has consistently worked to develop the state’s rural infrastructure in order to improve both the capacity to absorb credit and the demand for credit in rural Assam. The State Focus Paper critically analyzed the state’s degree of infrastructural growth and highlighted the fast-track infrastructural deficiencies in the sector.
Saha expressed that NABARD’s view of the state’s growth perspective was focused on the need for improved Gross Capital Formation (GCF) in agriculture, enhancing production and productivity by increasing agricultural credit.
Implementation of the Kisan Credit Card System, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF), Digitisation of SHGs through the E-Shakti Project, Mitigation of Climate Change Adverse Effects, Central Sector Scheme for the Creation of Farmers’ Producer Organisations and Credit Increase for the MSME Sector.
Saha, however, expressed his concern that, as per data published by SLBC, Assam, loans to agriculture show a declining trend.
Chief Secretary Jishnu Barua, intrinsically motivated banks to be farmer-friendly and stand up farm and allied sector financing to take advantage of the credit capacity projected by NABARD in its State Focus Paper 2021-22.
Barua also raised concerns about the reduced rate of crop loan disbursements in Assam State. He also accepted that the collectivisation by small – scale farmers of farm commodities is need of the hour for a state like Assam where small and marginal farmers dominate the agricultural sector.
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