Bhubaneswar, Apr 13 (PTI) The NABARD has posted a record performance in Odisha region in 2017-18 by more than doubling its financial support to the state government, banks and corporations to over Rs 17,195 crore, in two years.

The developmental financial assistance by the NABARD was Rs 8,368 crore in Odisha during 2015-16, Chief General Manager of NABARD’s Odisha Regional Office, K C Panigrahi told reporters here yesterday.

The CGM said that Odisha has been one of the biggest beneficiaries under the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) of NABARD under which loans are extended to the state government for critical rural infrastructure projects in sectors such as irrigation, roads and bridges.

Under the RIDF, NABARD had disbursed concessional loan of Rs 2,512 crore to Odisha government in 2017-18.

Among the major infrastructure projects, the NABARD had sanctioned about Rs 1,500 crore for construction of 14 mega-lift irrigation projects, Rs 220 crore towards construction of 612 community-based lift irrigation projects.

The NABARD had also sanctioned Rs 128 crore for construction of a bridge over the Mahanadi river in Cuttack district, Rs 217 crore for construction of 17 flood protection projects and Rs 166 crore for 175 rural drinking water supply schemes.

Panigrahi said the NABARD has been providing liquidity support by way of short term refinance to Cooperative Banks and RRBs for meeting the credit needs of farmers for agricultural operations at subsidized rates of interest.

During 2017-18, refinance for short term loans to the tune of Rs 7,930 crore was disbursed to the Cooperative Banks in the state, he said.

To promote capital formation in agriculture, the NABARD had disbursed long term refinance of Rs 804 crore to Commercial Banks, Odisha State Cooperative Bank and one MFI during the year, the CGM said.

To supplement the efforts of banks for supporting various activities connected with agriculture, the NABARD has also started a direct lending window.

Under this facility, an amount of Rs 4,585 crore was disbursed to the Odisha State Civil Supplies Corporation for its paddy procurement operations during the year, he said.

With the tribal population constituting around 23 per cent of the total population of the state, 56 tribal development projects are under implementation in the state with total financial support of Rs 108.26 crore, the CGM said.

The NABARD has identified supporting irrigation facilities in the state by providing financial assistance under special Long Term Irrigation Fund (LTIF), in addition to RIDF (Rural Infrastructure Development Fund) as its major focus areas for 2018-19, Panigrahi said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.