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Govt hopes to achieve Rs 11 lakh cr lending to agriculture sector

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, the agriculture credit flow target of Rs.11 lakh crore for the Financial Year 2018-19 is achievable by the banking sector

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The Union Minister of Finance, Arun Jaitley said that the Agriculture Credit flow target of Rs.11 lakh crore for the Financial Year 2018-19 is achievable by the banking sector and would add to the momentum towards doubling the farmers’ income by 2022.

The Finance Minister was delivering the Annual Address to Board of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) in New Delhi Monday. He also reviewed the Funds announced in the earlier Union Budgets and stressed the need for all the stakeholders to collaborate to improve the farmers’ income. Jaitley emphasised that the banking sector must invest in long term assets to improve the capital formation in Agriculture sector. He further stated that the investments in financial technology over the past few years have brought in efficiency, speed and transparency in the rural financial eco-system.
 
Rajeev Kumar, Secretary, Department of Financial Services, Government of India, highlighted the necessity of financial inclusion and adoption of technologies to make use of the opportunities arising out of higher GDP growth. He requested the banking system to concentrate on geographical areas like North East, East and Central India where the formal credit can give a fillip to the growth potential these areas offer. He also mentioned that his department is actively engaged with other ministries to create an enriching eco-system.
 
Dr. Harsh Kumar Bhanwala, Chairman, NABARD mentioned that NABARD has operationalised the funds announced in the previous Union Budget and specifically said that the Prime Ministers’ Grameen Awas Yojana is about to be supported through Rs.9,000 crore shortly. The Rs.5,000 crore Micro Irrigation Fund which will promote water conservation and productivity enhancing technologies, will also be operationalised shortly. He emphasised the need for formation of robust Farmer Producers Organisations (FPOs) and committed to the Finance Minister that NABARD would also form FPOs quickly

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