JAMMU, FEBRUARY 27 – Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region and MOS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh released the “State Focus Paper-2016-17” of National Bank of Agriculture & Rural Development (NABARD) for Jammu and Kashmir at a day-long seminar organized by the NABARD here today.
The Union Minister who was the Chief Guest on the occasion also released three brochures of NABARD and honoured some Self Help Groups (SHGs) and Joint Liability Groups (JLGs) operating in the State for exhibiting excellent performance during the year 2015-16.
Adviser to Governor Mr. Khurshid Ahmed Ganai was the guest of honour on the occasion.
Congratulating NABARD for bringing out the vision document that depicts future estimation of credit potentials for financing of priority sectors by banks in the State, Dr. Jatinder Singh said that the document would serve a useful purpose of realistic credit planning by the banks for the balanced growth of various sectors of Jammu and Kashmir’s economy . The document identifies the infrastructural requirements in all the districts across the State and will help the State Government in preparing the developmental plans accordingly, said Dr. Singh.
The Union Minister called upon the NABARD to play its important role for the development of the state in view of its typical geographic and climatic conditions, the economic prosperity of the people, especially in the rural and far-flung areas who are dependent for their livelihood on the sectors like agriculture, horticulture, agricultural-allied activities, animal husbandry, food processing, artisans, handicrafts, handloom, education, housing, micro, small and medium enterprises etc. These are also the priority areas for the Government of India and proactive role by banks in precise credit planning for these sectors would also help in effective implementation of the important initiatives of Government of India, viz, MUDRA Yojana, Prime Minister’s Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), Start Up India, Stand Up India, Pradhan Mantra Fasal Bima Yojana and various other developmental initiatives in the State.
Maintaining that Modi Government at the Centre has vindicated the dream of Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi by focusing on the development of the rural areas, Dr. Singh said that NABARD has also the mandate to develop and improve the living profile of the rural people and exploiting the actual potential of the rural areas. He said Mahatma Gandhi had rightly said that India lives in rural areas and “we must make sincere efforts to develop the rural pockets” to fulfil his dreams, he added.
Referring to the unique welfare initiatives launched by the Government namely, Atal Pension Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana and Jan Dhan Yojana, the Union Minister said that these schemes are aimed at directly benefitting the poorest of the poor and have received overwhelming response from the people. The Jan Dhan Yojana, which enables the poor beneficiary to open a bank account with zero balance, has proved a milestone and more than 20 crore people have opened their accounts and deposited over Rs. 30, 000 crores .
Similarly, the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Yojana will help millions of farmers in the State who would frequently face the threat of draught and natural calamities every year. The banks must fullfill their social responsibilities and take suitable measures to generate the employment opportunities by providing loans to the unemployed youth for setting up their income generating units in different business activities. The NABARD is a professional and experienced agency and it must reach out in the rural areas to identify the potential areas to help the unemployed youth to channelize their energy in positive direction. The agency should also explore possibilities for imparting skill training to the youth as per the job market. The youth need to be made equal stakeholder in the development and growth of the State, he asserted.
Mr. Ganai also appreciated the NABARD for this meticulous effort in bringing out this precise document which emphasizes on Long Term Investment Credit needs of the agriculture and allied sectors which is important for adequate capital formation for sustainable growth of the State. He highlighted the low credit ratio in the State, especially in Jammu region and called for taking corrective measures to improve it. He called for a coordinated approach between the bankers and State Government for achieving the targets. The SLBC should highlight the bottlenecks in their meetings and address these.
Advisor to the Governor also highlighted the importance of skill development of entrepreneurs and stressed for imparting skill trainings to the unemployed youth so that they can take up the self-employment ventures easily. He also called for setting up of skill development institutions in the State like other parts of the country to overcome the problem of unemployment. He also focused on generating massive awareness about the financial inclusion and financial literacy so that more and more people can take benefits of various financial schemes in the State. He assured full cooperation and necessary assistance from the State Government for smooth implementation the credit plans and various schemes.
Chief General Manager, NABARD, Shanker A. Pande explained the vision document in detail and its far-reaching benefits with a view to ensuring the required flow of institutional credit to various sectors of the rural economy. The NABARD has introduced preparation of annual district Potential Linked Credit Plans (PLPs) and these PLPs, prepared for all the districts in the State, are aggregated to project the sector-wise annual credit potentials for the entire State and presented in the form of State Focus Paper (SFP).
He said SFP is a unique document that presents comprehensive picture of potentials for institutional credit for various sub-sectors under Priority Sector; linkages and physical infrastructure required; credit intervention strategies; and policy and operational issues for optimal exploitation of available potentials. The sectoral credit potentials and infrastructural gaps brought-out in the SFP are discussed with stakeholders in the State Credit Seminar organized by the NABARD. The proposals firmed up at the Seminar serve as inputs for preparation of credit plans by financing banks and making necessary provision in the State Budget. In the State of Jammu and Kashmir, this sectoral credit planning exercise assumes even greater relevance, as the State Government intends to integrate these plans with the District Development Plans for encouraging greater public private partnership (PPP) in growth and development. Keeping this in view, the PLPs and SFP also take into account the development plans of the State Government and credit linked government sponsored programes announced by the Government of India for different sectors, he added.
Based on the district-wise credit estimates in PLPs, the credit potential for the State as a whole for Priority Sector during 2016-17 has been estimated at Rs. 18058.50 crore, which is an increase of around 32 per cent over the potentials assessed of Rs. 13683.31 crore for the year 2015-16, informed Mr. Pande.
Commissioner/Secretary Agriculture Production Department, Mohammad Ashraf Bukhari, heads of various Departments of State Government, heads of leading banks in Jammu and Kashmir, members of SHGs were also present on the occasion.