Bhubaneswar: While Odisha is having ‘Special Relationship’ with NABARD, the State Government has sought scaling up of allocation to the extent of Rs.10,000 Crore to boost Rural Infrastructure Development.
Vishal Dev, Principal Secretary Finance is coordinating such an effort as NABARD is allocating funding under various programs such as Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF), Rural Infrastructure Assistance to State Governments (RIAS) Warehouse Infrastructure Fund (WIF) and Long Term Irrigation Fund (LTIF).
Out of Rs.10,000 Crore, break up is Rs.5000 Crore from RIDF, Rs.4500 Crore from RAIS and Rs.500 Crore from LTIF Programs. Recently Chief Secretary S C Mohapatra has also written to Chairman NABARD to hike RIDF allocation for the State.
During 2021-22, Odisha has got allocation of Rs.3000 Crore under RIDF and received sanction of Rs.1287 Crore, however looking at the demand for more Rural Infrastructure the State Government has intimated NABARD to allocate Rs.5000 Crore under RIDF Program.
In fact Chairman NABARD Dr.G R Chintala lauded utilization of RIDF in Odisha during his interaction with senior officials of the State Government and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
The State has a reputation of consistent ‘Outstanding Performance’ under RIDF Program, for which it has received laurels from NABARD.
State Government has set up robust mechanism for utilization of RIDF Assistance.
While planning is done at highest level from the beginning of the financial year for effective project prioritization, introduction of Project Readiness Report for quick completion of projects and separate budget allocation to all project implementing departments and timely review and monitoring as well as capturing real time expenditure is in place for which utilization of RIDF Assistance since inception is more than 90 Percent, officials say.
While during recent visit of Chairman NABARD, the State Government has communicated its willingness to avail RIAS funding taking into consideration its robust appraisal mechanism inbuilt in the system, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also appreciated the program.
Odisha Government is availing assistance from NABARD under RIDF Program, WIF and LTIF at concessional rates of interest, it has also expressed its interest for funding under RIAS Program.
While in the country, NABARD has allocated Rs.40,000 Crore under RIDF, Odisha has received allocation of Rs.3000 Crore during 2021-22 and the State requires more Rs.2000 Crore, during 2021-22, sources said.
In fact Odisha has 83 Percent of Rural Population and low Rural Infrastructure Development Index is posing problem for the people.
So infusion of more funds for improvement of Rural Infrastructure is highly essential, pointed out a senior official in Department of Finance.
He said requirement of Public Investment for Infrastructure Development with focus on Rural Infrastructure for Post COVID-19 Pandemic revival of economy is much more needed.
Apart from RIDF, Odisha Government is also expressed its keenness to avail Rs.4500 Crore of assistance under RIAS for further enhancement of spending on creation of Rural Infrastructure, officials say.