By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, April 12, 2021: National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, (NABARD)’s financial support to the State Government, Banks and Corporations has touched Rs 22,709 crore during the year 2020-21, notwithstanding disruption of the economy due to Covid-19 pandemic. The NABARD provided front ended liquidity support to rural financial institutions with a view to ensure unhindered flow of credit from banks to farmers to carry out their agricultural operations smoothly, a press release said.

Under Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, NABARD, disbursed Rs 1,700 crore under Special Liquidity Facility (SLF) to Cooperative Banks and MFIs during the pandemic. Besides, NABARD has been providing liquidity support by way of Short Term Refinance to Cooperative Banks and Regional Rural Banks (RRB) for meeting the credit requirements of farmers for their agricultural operations at subsidized rates of interest. During FY-2020-21, refinance for short term crop loans to the tune of Rs 12,193 crore was disbursed to Cooperative Banks and RRBs.

Similarly, to promote capital formation in agri and allied sectors, NABARD disbursed Long Term Refinance of Rs 1551.85 crore to Commercial Banks, Odisha State Cooperative Bank and MFI during the year. NABARD also sanctioned a whopping Rs 3234.25 crore to Odisha government under Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) Tranche XXVI [2020-21]. This sanction includes 2510 Community Based Lift irrigation Projects under BKVY scheme, 11 Megalift Schemes under Cluster-V, 74 Rural Bridge Projects, 07 Mega Piped Water Supply Projects, 08 Flood Protection and 01 System Improvement Project. These Irrigation projects are envisaged to create/stabilize/develop an irrigation potential of 97256 ha in the state of Odisha apart from bridge projects to provide the necessary rural connectivity.

The Drinking Water projects funded by NABARD on completion are expected to provide clean and safe drinking water to 25.46 lakh rural population across 3.50 lakh household in 1335 villages of the state. During the FY 2020-21, NABARD also disbursed RIDF assistance of Rs 2732.75 crore to Odisha for the expenditure incurred towards various ongoing projects. Some of the major infrastructure projects supported by NABARD in the State are Indravati Lift Canal Irrigation Project in Kalahandi, 05 lakh LPD OMFED automated milk processing unit, drinking water projects in Nuapada, Bhadrak, Bargarh, Nabarangpur, Dhenkanal and Jajpur.

Further, during the year 2020-21, NABARD has disbursed an amount of Rs 5597.50 crore for supporting paddy procurement operations in the State.

NABARD also has extended grant assistance of Rs 58 crore towards various promotional initiatives during FY 2020-21. Being pioneer in implementing Watershed projects in the State, to give a fillip to economic activity and enhance livelihood opportunities for project beneficiaries, 144 watershed projects have been undertaken by NABARD with financial assistance of Rs 74.92 crore covering area of 1,12,000 ha and 41000 households in 24 districts of Odisha. Currently, 70 watershed projects are ongoing and 5 new projects were sanctioned during the year with financial assistance of Rs 6.27 crore under Watershed development and climate proofing projects.

For sustainable livelihood for the tribal people of Odisha, under Tribal development programme, NABARD has implemented 63 tribal development projects with financial assistance of ₹ 190.61 crs covering area of 41,000 acres and 48,000 tribal families in 21 districts of Odisha. During FY-2020-21, 02 new projects were sanctioned with financial assistance of Rs 39 crore in Dhenkanal and Koraput.

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