In the Financial Year 2021, the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has provided a financial aid of over Rs 9,000 crore to West Bengal.

In a recent development, West Bengal has received a corpus of Rs 9,160 crore as financial support from NABARD during the Financial Year (FY) 2021 amid the Coronavirus pandemic. The grant was targeted towards the development of agriculture and allied sector development.

According to an official statement, the financial support included a Rs 1,270 crore loan to the State government for various rural infrastructure development, around Rs 3,850 crore as long-term refinance assistance to Rural Financial Institutions (RFIs) for financing investment activities in agriculture and Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector. In addition to this, a sum of Rs 3,750 crore were provided as a short-term refinance to RFIs to support the production and marketing activities of farmers and rural artisans.

NABARD estimates that for 2021-22, a credit potential of Rs 2.2 lakh crore will be disbursed to West Bengal by various banks, including for the priority sector activities.

During 2020-21, NABARD sanctioned over 2,000 new rural infrastructure development projects, including rural roads, small bridges, medium and minor irrigation projects, flood protection mechanisms, solar energy power plants and Anganwadi Centres. It was done with Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) loan support of Rs 1659 crore to the Government of West Bengal.

Once successfully implemented, these projects will lead to the laying of over 850 km length of rural roads and 130 m-long rural bridges. These infrastructure projects will benefit over 900 villages and will positively impact the lives of about 70 lakh people in rural areas.