Forest clearances hampering road projects in Himachal – NABARD

Shimla: Forest clearances was becoming a major obstacle for funding road projects in Himachal Pradesh, even as rural apex bank NABARD stated that in 16 years it had extended Rs 3103 Cr credit to the hill state for various schemes out of which Rs 1961 Cr had been disbursed.

Having outperformed various parameters for the 2010-11, AD Ratnoo, CGM of NABARD at regional office let media persons know that there was a slowdown in disbursement of funds because many road projects faced clearance obstacles from the forest department.

He said that in 2010-11 NABARD under Rural Infrastructure Development Fund had approved Rs 412.90 Cr for Himachal, which consisted of 85 road and bridges projects worth Rs 171.98 Cr, 49 minor irrigation projects worth Rs 103.21 Cr, 49 drinking water projects worth Rs 116.21 Cr and 4 flood protection project worth Rs 21.50 Cr.

Of the amount approved for the year, the bank had already disbursed Rs 300 crore, said Ratnoo.

Besides infrastructure projects, the rural bank was also supporting crop loans and had loaned out Rs 198 crore to state cooperative and Gramin banks. These loans are provided to farmers at a concessional rate of 7% interest, he said.

To boost capital formation in farm and non farm sector, banks in the state had been assisted with refinance facility of Rs 461.05 crore for investment credit and commercial banks availing the maximum at Rs 346.81 crore.

NABARD was also supporting the state government key agriculture projects under Kishan Bhagwan Samridhi Yojna and Doodh Ganga projects. Subsidy of Rs 21.12 crore had been sanctioned for 1491 projects of which Rs 19.84 crore had even been disbursed.

A subsidy of Rs 2.05 cr for 630 cases under the Doodh Ganga dairy project had been released.

Under the Agriculture Marketing Infrastructure Scheme, 13 projects have been sanctioned and Rs 300.11 lakh released as subsidy. Three cold stores storage have also been released Rs 8 crore as subsidy.

The bank in 2010-11 was able to provide credit linkage to 3540 self help groups and an amount of Rs 60.60 lakh was released as grant support for facilitating visits of farmers to universities, SMS based services of Reuters Market Light and training and demonstration camps.

Two projects with financial assistance of Rs 11.78 lakh for enabling financial inclusion were also sanctioned to ensure doorstep banking services in the State.

The bank also sanctioned Rs 7.59 lakh sanctioned to the Dr. Y.S. Parmar Univeristy for Horticulture &
Forestry, Nauni for a research project on Standardisation of Packaging Technologies for Commercially Important Cut Flowers.

NABARD prepared the potential linked plans for credit estimation for the year 2011-12 in all the 12 districts aggregating to Rs 6306.69 crore.

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