Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) plays a pivotal role in transforming the rural economy, and there is a need to ensure faster completion of pending projects under the fund, Financial Services Secretary Vivek Joshi said on Wednesday.
RIDF was set up in 1995-96 by the government to finance ongoing rural infrastructure projects. The fund is maintained by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard).
Domestic commercial banks contribute to the fund to the extent of their shortfall in stipulated priority sector lending to agriculture. The main objective is to provide loans to state governments and state-owned corporations to enable them to complete ongoing rural infrastructure projects.
During his inaugural address to the stakeholders meeting with finance secretaries and other senior officers from state and UT governments, Joshi highlighted the role of RIDF as a pivotal force in transforming the rural economy.
He underscored the need to ensure faster completion of projects older than 3 years to all state governments.
MP Tangirala, Additional Secretary Department of Financial Services, made a detailed presentation on RIDF achievements and the way forward, the finance ministry said in a statement.
All participant States/UTs held detailed deliberations on various topics related to RIDF as a part of breakout sessions, it said, adding the views of participant state/UT governments on RIDF were presented to the stakeholders.
After the presentations, Joshi lauded constructive observations and suggestions coming out of these deliberations and advised Nabard to review the guidelines and processes related to RIDF to speed up project implementations and make RIDF more conducive to the needs of states.
Kartikeya Misra, Director, DFS, summarised the major outcomes of the meeting and gave a vote of thanks to the participants.
The meeting was also attended by Nabard Chairman Shaji KV and National Housing Board (NHB) Managing Director SK Hota, among other senior officials.