Punjab Finance, Planning, Excise and Taxation Minister Advocate harpal Singh Cheema on Thursday said that the state has drastically improved its performance registering a record utilization of funds of Rs. 800 crore in the fiscal year 2022-23 for the on-going Rural Infrastructure Development Projects assisted by National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).
Chairing a high powered committee meeting here at Punjab Bhawan to review the NABARD assisted projects, the Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema lauded the role of the Finance Department and NABARD in smooth implementation enabling high utilization for the on-going projects during the fiscal year 2022-23.
Thanking NABARD for sanctioning new projects worth Rs.919 crore highest so far for the state of Punjab, the Finance Minister urged NABARD team to enhance the allocation of the state for new projects for FY 2023-24 (RIDF-XXIX) to Rs. 1500 crore in view of the good performance of the state and also the keenness of the State to have maximum utilization for improving the rural infrastructure.
The Finance Minister also focused on the need to give priority to all the sectors for funding projects this year including Roads & Bridges, Irrigation, Drinking Water & Sanitation, Education, Renewal Energy, Health, Skill Development, Godowns, Horticulture and Soil Conservation to ensure the overall development of the rural economy.
Reviewing the progress of various ongoing projects funded by NABARD under Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIFD), Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema directed all the administrative departments to focus on optimum utilisation of the funds available from NABARD and accelerate the pace of execution of these projects aiming for maximum withdrawals and speedy completion so that the envisaged benefits could reach the rural population of the State.
KAP Sinha, Additional Chief Secretary, Development, Ajoy Kumar Sinha, Principal Secretary Finance, Garima Singh, Secretary Finance, and Principal Secretaries, Secretaries, heads of administrative departments and NABARD team headed by Raghunath B, Chief General Manager attended the meeting.