ANDHRA PRADESH

NABARD relief for drought-hit districts

Staff Reporter

Package drafted by the Central Government

Financial inclusive and financial technology fund to be set upAgricultural growth stymied at just 2.7 per cent

GUNTUR: The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) will shortly launch Vidarbha package to mitigate the sufferings of farmers in drought-affected districts.

The package, drafted by the Central Government, included, waiver of crop interest, rescheduling of term loans and assisting employment generation programmes, NABARD A.P. Region chief general manager V. Ramakrishna Rao said at a national seminar on `Inclusive Rural Banking' on Acharya Nagarjuna University campus on Thursday.

There had been a paradigm shift in the policies of Centre to ensure greater financial inclusion by enabling banks to tie up with NGOs, SHGs and MFIs to provide services to the rural poor, he said.

The NABARD would set up two funds, a financial inclusive fund and financial technology fund, through which it would provide financial assistance to the needy. These agencies would help the farmers to open bank accounts, insurance policies and help them avail of the various financial packages.

He said that though the Indian economy grew at a healthy rate of 9.2 per cent in 2006-2007, agricultural growth was stymied at just 2.7 per cent. University Vice-Chancellor V. Balamohandas said efforts must be made to put the faltering agricultural sector back on the track. Banks must reach out to the farmers to realise the aims of inclusive growth incorporated in the 11th Five Year Plan by simplifying the procedures of opening a bank account or taking a loan etc., he opined.

University registrar K.Viyyanna Rao, ANU College principal M.K. Durga Prasad, Commerce and Business Administration head P. Koteswara Rao and UGC-SAP co-ordinator G.N. Brahmanandam were present.