Daily Current affairs
The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) has got the central government’s approval to raise extra budgetary resources of up to Rs 9,020 crore in FY18 through bonds. The additional funds will be used to fund 99 ongoing irrigation projects under the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana.
The Cabinet meeting, in which the decision was taken, was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.According to an official statement, the funds raised by Nabard would ensure a lending rate of six per cent per annum.
A large number of major and medium irrigation projects taken up under the Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme were languishing largely due to inadequate funds.
In his 2016-17 Budget speech, the finance minister had announced the creation of a dedicated long-term irrigation fund (LTIF) in Nabard with an initial corpus of Rs 20,000 crore.
“To make the loan from Nabard attractive for the states, it was decided that the rate of interest may be kept at around six per cent by providing the requisite funds to Nabard every year from 2016-17 to 2019-20, on which the interest cost would be borne by the government of India,” the statement said.In 2016-17, Nabard disbursed a total amount of Rs 9,086.02 crore under the LTIF.
As per the reports of states and the Central Water Commission, submitted at various review meetings, 18 projects were either completed or almost completed, the statement said.
The irrigation potential utilisation was expected to be over 14 lakh hectares in 2016-17 from the 99 projects, it added.