AICBEF urges Centre to allot Rs.2.5 lakh crore

All India Cooperative Bank Employees Federation (AICBEF) has appealed to the Central government to allocate Rs.2.5 lakh crore in a period of three years to ensure improvements in agriculture infrastructure.

In a memorandum to Prakash Bakshi, Chairman of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), who has been nominated as the Chairman for the Expert Committee on Short-term Cooperative Credit Structure, P.Balakrishnan, general secretary of the federation pointed out that in India the yield per acre is the lowest in the world. “Our farmers are not able to raise more than three tonnes per acre on an average either wheat or paddy, whereas in most of the Asian countries and the US, it is seven to 11 tonnes. Our farmers can grow more crops only if there is uninterrupted flow of water, and supply of good manure and good seeds, for which the Government should allocate substantially to ensure improvements in agriculture infrastructure”. He submitted that crop loan assistance given by NABARD in 2006 was at 2.5 per cent. Now it has been enhanced to 4.5 per cent. It should be reversed to 2.5 per cent and there must be 80 per cent refinance for agricultural operations by NABARD. And to that extent there must be enhancement in budgetary allocations for agricultural finance, he pleaded.

Even though the cooperative banks’ contribution towards agriculture, rural development and promotion of agro-based industries is immense, there are certain deficiencies, Mr.Balakrishnan said.