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NABARD; creating new economic opportunities for rural enterprises in India

nabard cgm with fm of west bengal
         CGM Nabard, Shri. P. Mohanaiah, at rural handicraft & handloom fair in Kolkata

Emerging opportunities is enticing the micro-small & medium enterprises in the rural sector. There are more to Rural India than just agriculture and farming, the micro, small and medium enterprises are growing in leaps and bounds, and the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural development, NABARD for decades is contributing immensely in shaping the future of India with a vision to make the country prosper by ensuring socio-economic prosperity of the commons. It has been NABARD’s endeavor to remove all obstacles like discriminations, disparities, and inequalities of opportunities; Sri. P. Mohanaiah, Chief General Manager, NABARD in Kolkata says, “Progress towards economic reforms is underway…if we can redouble our energies our plans will be seen as a genuine turning point towards growth…” He speaks to Amrita Chatterjee on various reform plans related to the micro-small and medium industries in the rural sector and how the institution is contributing in strengthening the nation at its roots.

Nabard is the biggest institution in India to support the micro-small and medium industries in the rural sector; kindly explain the actual role played by Nabard.

Nabard plays a major role even in the modest scope of development in this sector, the good news is our schemes has been successful in ensuring intensification for micro-small and medium enterprises…but our primary focus is the micro enterprise, its definitely our priority. You see the most micro-entrepreneurs are of first generation; thus challenges are much more than the already established ones.

Earlier, it was only concerned with livelihood and agriculture. Potter & goldsmith were doing for daily livelihood but to establish it as an enterprise was a big challenge. Now they see that the potters can develop it as a proper enterprise and women are greatly participating in running the production as a professional enterprise.

In this regard some of the highlights of the action plan of Nabard, you would like to showcase?

With great pleasure I would specifically highlight the role played by Nabard, first is creating awareness at the grass-root level about the various development plans and policies of the government, once the awareness is created it picks up the appetite for growth among the people, which perhaps leads to becoming successful entrepreneurs.

Secondly, there is formation of Self help groups, with main emphasis on women, through which a bank linkage is given, including the ones living below poverty line. Then most importantly is ensuring availability of resources like loans through proper banking channel at reasonable interest rate. No stamp duty or mortgaging of assets is required.

There are other devices like Krishi Vigyan Kendra for imparting training, project hand holding etc; then facilitating micro-financing through farmers club and lastly imparting advancement & management techniques through Rural Entrepreneurship Development Program.

Such action plans indeed brings great acceptance of the reform plans eventually leading to formation of micro-small enterprises involving greater participation. But then what about creating markets for such enterprises?

Yes creating market is extremely important, in regard to this we in partnership with various reputed NGOs is setting up Rural Mart, where Self Help Groups products will be marketed, Please note that for the set up of each rural mart, NABARD is supporting the rent for about three years, Nabard will take rent & salary of one sales person. Within 3 years entrepreneur it is evident that the entrepreneur will to achieve a good turnover, and will be capable enough to support themselves.

Don’t you feel permanent marketing complexes are required to promote micro-small enterprises in urban areas as the buying potential is more in such areas.

Definitely! There are plans to set up training cum marketing complexes in partnership with the local government, and permanent malls for micro-small enterprises products and services. Nabard is supporting the local government through loans; seven such schemes are already sanctioned.

The finance minister of West Bengal, Mr.Ashim Dasgupta has announced setting up of Marketing State Level Corporation; thus whatever produced could be taken to urban markets through the corporation.

There are schemes for marketing complex in villages and town can be started in form of a Rural Haat, where different micro enterprises operating under SHGs can come and sell their products.

There is huge demand of our indigenous pottery, handlooms in the global market, including products like herbal tea, soaps etc. How Nabard is connecting the rural India to global market?

Over the year the technology has improved and it’s rather far easier now to connect the rural India to the global market. NABARD helps through various organizations in facilitating the export of such products. Many NGO’s are helping the artisans by giving their relevant information’s in their website. The products get considerable response from foreign tourists who are potential buyers. Yes, a lot more needs to be done; the entrepreneurs need to manage the competition with good use of technology in standardization and making the most of information and communication technology.

Lastly, your vision of the future economic prosperity of rural India

Our desperate effort is to ensure uniform growth; there should not be any discriminations and gender disparities. Poverty alleviation is the goal to be achieved. I feel if we can redouble our energies our plans will be seen as a genuine turning point towards growth by creating tremendous economic opportunities for the common people of India. The rural India is emerging strong and to ensure a sustainable development we need the participation of local governments, the other local decision making bodies, NGO’s, media and of every individual who aspires to see India as a developed nation.

By Amrita Chatterjee