The Cooperation Minister, Punjab,Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa met the Chairman of NABARD Harsh Kumar Bhanwala at Mumbai and emphatically took up the issue of releasing immediately the limit of the crop loans, increasing the next season besides placing other demands concerning the welfare of the farming community of Punjab. The NABARD Chairman on his part gave an assurance regarding sanctioning limit amount of Rs. 4000 crore and getting it released to the Punjab State Cooperative Bank without delay for the purpose of providing crop loans to the farmers. The Chairman also assured to reconsider the issue of increasing the limit during November-December.S. Randhawa on the occasion also exchanged views on the significant issues of the cooperative banks of Punjab with NABARD. The issues included among others the prompt release of the refinance limit being provided to the cooperative banks of the state for the purpose of agricultural loans by NABARD. The limit is usually released during the June month by NABARD but it hasn’t been this year till now. The cooperation minister vigorously placed this demand on which the NABARD Chairman gave an assurance pertaining to its immediate release. The minister also raised the issue with the NABARD Chairman of the financial assistance given to the Milkfed Punjab out of the DIDF fund and demanded the removal of a condition about the state government being standing as a guarantee. On this aspect, the NABARD Chairman agreed to accept the demands on the spot itself and issued a revised sanction letter after the meeting. With this, the sanction was given to the renovation project worth Rs. 318 crore of the milk plants at Ludhiana, Mohali, Jalandhar, and Patiala. Earlier, the project was stalled due to the condition of the state government being made to stand as a guarantee but with Mr. Randhawa emphatically taking up the issue with the NABRAD Chairman, it stood resolved on the spot.
During the meeting the Punjab delegation also demanded that all the agricultural cooperative societies of Punjab be included in the budget which has been kept for the computerisation of the agricultural cooperative societies by the Union Government. The Punjab side also highlighted the fact that out of the 3537 societies of Punjab only 2012 have been made part of the project so far.In the end of the meeting, the NABARD Chairman Dr. Bhanwala disclosed that the NABARD is providing loans on easy interest rates for the purpose of giving phillip to the dairy farming, horticulture and drip irrigation system. He also said that the farmers from Punjab must be exhorted to avail this loan through cooperative banks. The Chairman also assured that the above mentioned issues concerning the cooperative banks of Punjab would be paid attention to in a minute manner and also that the NABARD would actively consider providing easy loan on 4.70 percent rate of interest without hiccups to Punjab farmers for taking up dairy farming, drip irrigation and agricultural purpose.S. Randhawa on his part said that he would direct the cooperation department as well as the officers of the cooperative institutions falling under it to coordinate with the concerned departments like- Cooperation, Agriculture, Irrigation, Cooperative Banks, Milkfed, Markfed, Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development and constitute a team which would further coordinate with the NABARD office to ensure that the facilities accruing to the farmers and the agricultural sector are provided without any hindrances.On the occasion, MLA Mr. Harpratap Singh Ajnala, Additional Chief Secretary Cooperation Mr. D.P. Reddy, MD Milkfed Mr. Manjit Singh Brar, MD Punjab State Cooperative Bank Dr. S.K. Batish and General Manager Mr. Bhupinder Singh.