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Introduction

National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) came into existence in 1982 and offers short term as well as long term refinancing options as well as direct financing or lending options to eligible borrowers.

The aim of NABARD is to provide assistance to the rural areas of the country in the form of financial, developmental and supervision facilities. It has set up specific departments in this regard that cater to the related specific needs of the rural areas of the country.

Roll and Importance of NABARD

The formation of NABARD has been a huge impetus in the rural financing area. The developmental and supervisory aspects of NABARD have also helped in laying down efficient and sound banking as well as business practices among the rural population. Some of the highlights of the role played by NABARD over the years are mentioned below.

  • Devising credit plans at grass root levels as well as motivating and pushing the rural banking sector to achieve them.
  • Providing necessary training to the local artisan in developing and promotion of local handicrafts.
  • Providing necessary short term and long term refinancing options to the rural sector.
  • Bringing improvements in the rural infrastructure
  • Providing supervision of Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) and Co-operative Banks
  • The SHG linkage projects initiated by NABARD has been developed to be the among the most talked about micro finance projects globally
  • Farmers in every nook and corner of the country can avail the benefits of the Kisan Credit Card which is a product of NABARD

Functions of NABARD

Some of the broad functions under its triple role of financing, developing and supervising of the rural sector are discussed below.

  • Policy framework with regards to rural credit is done by NABARD for all the financial institutions across the country.
  • It plays a key role in identifying the credit potential of all the districts across the country and prepares the credit plans for the same accordingly.
  • NABARD provides the finance and refinancing as required by the Banks of RRBs directly.
  • NABARD plays a very important role in by helping the its governed regional banks and institutes develop their credit policies
  • It also plays the role of a bridge to connect the rural banks with the State Governments and other Co-operative Banks and Institutions.
  • Another aspect of its supervisory functions is the development and improvement of necessary MIS and technology of the Rural Banks and Institutions that are governed by it.
  • It is also charged with time to time inspection of the Regional Rural Banks and Other Co-operative Banks.
  • It also is a key player in issuing of new licenses for banks or opening of new branches in consultation with the RBI.
  • The portfolios of the Regional Rural banks and Co-operative Banks are also subject to verification and inspection done by NABARD on timely basis.

Various schemes and Areas of Operation of NABARD

The various schemes launched or governed by NABARD under its financing functions as well as the areas of operation under its developmental and supervisory functions are mentioned below.

Financial Aspect

Direct Financing in the following areas or schemes

  • Loans to Food Parks and Food processing Units in designated Food Parks
  • Loans to warehouses, Cold Storage and Cold Chain Infrastructure
  • Credit Facilities to Market Federations
  • Rural Infrastructure Development Fund
  • Direct refinance to Co-operative Banks
  • Supporting Producer Organizations
  • More direct finance (NABARD Infrastructure Development Assistance, Financing and Developing PACS, UPNRM)
  • Alternative Investment Funds
  • Long Term Irrigation Fund
  • Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Gramin
  • Swachh Bharat Mission – Gramin
  • Micro Irrigation Fund

Refinance

  • Short term Refinance
  • Long Term Refinance
  • Eligible schemes for Refinance under Off Farm Sector (Automatic Refinance Scheme, Composite Loan Scheme, Integrated Loan Scheme, Self-employment Scheme for Ex-Servicemen, Soft Loan Assistance for Margin Money, Small Road and Water Transport Operators, Rural Housing, Renewable Energy)

Developmental Aspect

  • Institutional development
  • Farm Sector
  • Off farm Sector
  • Financial Inclusion
  • Micro Credit Innovation
  • Research and development
  • Climate Change

Supervisory Aspect

  • Setting the Objectives of supervision
  • Developing the Supervisory process
  • Credit Monitoring Arrangements (CMA)
  • Detailing the functions of the Board of Supervision
  • Developing and Covering Other Initiatives like discussing the financial health of the banks monitored by NABARD, training, workshops for Statutory Auditors, detecting frauds, internal checks, etc.
  • Details of Penalties imposed on the supervised entities

NABARD Sponsored Schemes

Farm Sector

  • Producers Organization Development Fund
  • Watershed Development Programme
  • Tribal Development Programme

Off Farm Sector

  • Marketing Initiatives
  • Exhibition/Melas for traditional Art, crafts, produce, etc
  • Setting up Rural Haats/Rural Marts for selling and marketing of local products
  • RUDSETI/RUDSETI type of Institutions/RSETI
  • Rural Innovation Fund (RIF)
  • Supporting Rural Housing and Rural Sanitation

Research and Development Fund

Micro Finance Sector

  • Support for training and capacity Building of clients for SHG-BL Programme
  • Micro Enterprise Development Programme
  • Livelihood and Enterprise Development Programme
  • Schemes for promotion of Women SHGs in backward and left wing extremism (LWE) districts of India
  • Collaboration with NRLM

There are various other Government Sponsored Schemes as well that come under the purview of NABARD. Some of such schemes in the Farm Sector are,

  • Dairy Entrepreneurship Development Scheme
  • Capital Investment Subsidy Scheme for Commercial Production Units for organic/ biological Inputs
  • Agriclinic and Agribusiness Centres Scheme
  • National Livestock Mission
  • GSS – Ensuring End Use of Subsidy Released
  • Interest Subvention Scheme
  • New Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure(AMI) sub- scheme of Integrated Scheme for Agricultural Marketing (ISAM)

Current Interest Rates under various Scheme of NABARD

The current interest rates under the various schemes of NABARD effective from 7th November, 2019 are mentioned below.

ParticularsRate of Interest (%)

Short term Refinance Assistance

State Co-operative Banks for Financing Crop Loans

4.50

RRBs for Financing Crop Loans

4.50

DCCBs for Financing Crop Loans

4.50

Commercial Banks/RRBs in respect of their finance to PACS towards Crop Loans

4.50

ST – Additional SAO/ST(Others)/ ST (SAO ) -SCARDBs (Annual Product)

7.35

StCBs/RRBs - Conversion of Short Term- crop loans into Medium Term loans (3% less than the interest rate charged by banks to ultimate beneficiaries subject to minimum interest rate at 8.10%)

8.10

Long term Refinance Assistance

LT loan to State Govt. for contribution to share capital of the coop. credit institutions

8.50

RRBS/StCBS/SCARDBS

Refinance for 5 years and above

8.35

Refinance for 3 years to less than 5 years

8.45

Refinance for 18 months to less than 3 years

8.35

Direct Lending

Warehouse Infrastructure Fund (WIF)

State Governments

Bank rate – 1.50%

State Government Corporation (with State Govt. Guarantee)

Bank rate – 1.50%

Entities promoted by State / Central Government owned/assisted (without State Govt. Guarantee)

PLR + risk premium

Other entities

PLR + risk premium

Current Bank Rate – 5.4%

Food Processing Fund (FPF)

State Governments

Bank rate – 1.50%

Entities promoted by State Governments (with Govt. Guarantee)

Bank rate – 1.50%

Entities promoted by State Governments(without Govt. Guarantee)

PLR + risk premium

Other entities

PLR + risk premium

Current Bank Rate – 5.4%

NABARD Contact Information

The contact information for any queries or any information required regarding the schemes or any details about NABARD are mentioned below.

Telephone number - +91 26539895/ 96/99

Postal address – Plot C-24, G Block, 

   Bandra Kurla complex, 

   BKC Road, 

   Bandra East, 

   Mumbai, Maharashtra 400051

FAQs – NABARD

1. What is the main area of operation for NABARD?

NABARD operates primarily in rural areas.

2. When was NABARD established?

NABARD was established in 1982.

3. Which institutes come under NABARD?

The following institutes or Banks come under NABARD,

  • Regional Rural Banks (RRBs)
  • State Cooperative Banks (StCBs)
  • District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCBs)
  • Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS)
  • State Cooperative Agriculture and Rural Development Banks (SCARDBs)
  • Primary Cooperative Agriculture and Rural Development Banks (PCARDBs)

4. Is NABARD a Public Sector Unit?

Central Government has fully owned the entire stake in NABARD after RBI sold its remaining stake as well. Hence, it can be termed as a public sector unit.

5. What are the objectives of NABARD?

Some of the key objectives of NABARD are,

  • Providing short term, medium term and long term credit to the agricultural and rural sector.
  • It acts as an apex body to meet all the credit related as well as development and supervisory related needs of the rural and agricultural sector
  • It engages in refinance activities of the banks that are governed by it
  • It is charged with the inspection and recommendation of improvisation of infrastructure and credit needs or human resource requirements of the banks and institutions governed by it.
  • Developing and promoting local or rural artisans, arts, crafts and rural products on a national level.

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