NABARD’s District Rural Industries Project

Interview with Dr.Prabhakar Rajkumar.

Dr.Prabhakar Rajkumar is a lecturer in commerce teaching in Periyar University, Salem, Tamil Nadu. By way of educational qualification, Dr. Prabhakar has done M.Com., M.Phil., M.B.A. and Ph.D on Nabard. “Around 19 of my papers have been published in national level journals, 2 papers have been published in international level journals, I have presented 60 papers in national and international level seminars, and have got 10 years of research and teaching experience. I have got Rs. 6.5 lakhs grants assistance from UGC for major projects,” says Dr. Prabhakar.

Agriculture and Industry Survey spoke to Dr. Prabhakar about the various initiatives taken by NABARD in the area of District Rural Industries Project (DRIP). Excerpts:
What is the amount of fund NABARD has kept for District Rural Industries Project? What is the rate of interest charged? What is the repayment period?
NABARD has kept a cumulative fund of Rs. 1854.64 crores for DRIP.

Through this project NABARD aims at creation of significant number of sustainable employment opportunities in rural areas through enhanced credit flow to RNFS with complementary promotional support. The interest rate charged is as per RBI norms at the rate of 6-8 per cent. The repayment period depends upon the activities.

What other facilities are being extended for the support and development?
It provides sustainable employment opportunities to rural population by facilitating setting up cottage, villages, tiny and small industries in the rural areas.

What are the terms and conditions for choosing the entrepreneurs for Autonagar Complex?
The objective is to fill up the gap in auto parts production in the state, which generally relies on supplies from outside, create employment opportunities to auto-related entrepreneurs in rural areas, and lessen the congestion in the city by attracting the entrepreneurs from the crowded areas.

What are some of the success stories in NABARD’s non-farm sector activities funding in 2006?
Under DRIP, 871 rural entrepreneurship development programmes were supported covering 26,130 persons and involving grant assistance of Rs.454.39 lakh. Grant assistance of Rs.3,185.64 lakhs has been extended for conducting 7,159 REDPs covering 2.15 lakh persons, as on 31-3- 06.

What is the percentage of NABARD funding that goes for farm sector and non farm sector funding?
There is no limit and percentage. It is based on importance and need.

Which regions in India NABARD have been most successful?
During 2004-2005, 80 districts across the country got the benefit, and there are no specific regions.

Is there still a need for refinancing in agriculture? Do you think NABARD still has relevance? Do you think this will change once more customer friendly private sector players enter the rural sector in a bigger way?
Yes, NABARD is essential for development of agriculture and rural development. The private sector banks are not yet ready to provide financial assistance like NABARD does.

What is the total operating income of NABARD in 2006? Is NABARD a loss making or profit making activity?
During 2005-2006, profit made by NABARD was Rs.857,25,99,439. NABARD is a service maximizing apex institution.

Where does NABARD raise its money for its refinance activities?
It raises money from RBI and government of India.

Is NABARD able to attract the best people to work in the organization?
Does NABARD offer challenging career opportunities for young agriculture graduates?
Yes, as far as my knowledge goes, NABARD gives better opportunities for young people to work in the organization and so many schemes like DRIP give young people a chance to work in rural and urban areas.

Our Correspondent