Millennium Post

Bengal to get Rs 1,000 cr from NABARD for Rabi crop

The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) will disburse around Rs 1,000 crore for Bengal, which would be given in the aftermath of demonetisation.

The decision to disburse the fund was taken by the bank aiming to help the cash-strapped farmers in the Rabi sowing season.

Of the additional sum of Rs 21,000 crore sanctioned by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural 
Development, Bengal’s share is to the tune of Rs 900-1,000 crore, said NABARD Chief General Manager, AK Raybarman at a CII conclave on Friday.

The bank, Raybarman said, is working hard to make sure there is enough cash at farmers’ disposal.

According to the NABARD Chief General Manager, efforts are underway to revive a system that will 
reduce the need for cash for buying farm inputs.

If things go as planned, farmers will be able to buy farm products without having to make cash-payment, Raybarman said.

Things like a pay order could be issued to 60-70 per cent of farmers and credit limit can be redeemed at the farm stores, he explained, saying if the cash demand is lowered by 70 per cent, things will be a lot easier.

However, providing further reprieve to farmers, the government on Monday allowed farmers to purchase seeds for their current Rabi crop season with old denomination notes, as part of the steps to ease the impact of partial demonetisation on the rural sector.

“There has been an effort to reduce the cash demand of a farmer to the extent that he spends for inputs like fertilisers and seeds. 

Methods are being worked out to allow farmers to buy their requirements without paying cash to the vendor,” Raybarman said.

He went on to add that if demand for cash is reduced by 70 per cent then it will be smooth going in the Rabi season despite demonetisation, the bankers felt.

State Bank of India (SBI) Chief General Manager Partha Pratim Sengupta also said the bank would give priority to make cash available in the districts to take care of the farm sector.

He informed that the banks are working towards reviving an old system which would reduce demand for cash at the hands of the farmer for buying agri-inputs.
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