Shimla: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has demanded NABARD to increase the annual normative allocation from existing Rs. 700 crores to at least Rs. 1000 crore for the financial year 2019-20.

Jai Ram Thakur, in a meeting with NABARD, said that the increase in the allocation would enable the state to create agriculture-related infrastructure in rural areas besides strengthening the road network in these areas. He also felt the need to delegate sanction powers to the Regional Office NABARD so as to expedite the sanctioning and implementation process of the projects under the RIDF programme.

Chief Minister said that due to difficult topography and adverse climatic conditions of the state, the NABARD should consider increasing phasing period for implementation of projects of tranche from the existing four years to six years. This would reduce the number of non-starters and slow-moving projects and also improve the reimbursement position of the state, he added.

Jai Ram Thakur said that in order to help the state in faster execution and completion of projects in the state besides reducing the time taken in paper works in respect of reimbursement claims, NABARD should consider increasing mobilization advance from current 30 per cent to 50 per cent.

Chief Minister said that due to harsh climatic conditions, the road projects in the state usually take 6 to 10 years for completion, therefore, NABARD should contemplate increasing period for maintenance fund from 10 years to 15 years. He said that apart from this, maintenance fund should be provided at a fixed rate of interest at less than four per cent.

Jai Ram Thakur said that NABARD has created Micro Irrigation Fund (MIF) to facilitate the states in mobilization resources for expanding coverage of micro-irrigation. He also urged the NABARD for increasing credit limit under Kisan Credit Card from Rs. three lakhs to Rs. 6 -10 lakh.

Chief Minister said that hydropower sector was the priority sector of the State Government, therefore, NABARD should consider funding execution of hydropower projects in the State. He said that tourism was yet another sector on the priority list of the Government for which he sought liberal assistance of NABARD. He said that there was immense scope for development of ropeways and other related infrastructure.

Chairman NABARD Dr Harsh Kumar Bhanwala, Chief Secretary Anil Khachi, Principal Secretary Finance Prabodh Saxena, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Sanjay Kundu and other senior officers of NABARD attended the meeting.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.