SRINAGAR: Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on Tuesday urged India’s apex development bank, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), “to pool in more finances in the revenue-generating” horticulture and handicraft sectors in the state.
During a meeting with NABARD Chairman Dr Harsh Kumar Bhanwala, Sayeed said both horticulture and handicraft sectors require a “stimulus package” to realise their full potential.
He sought financial support from NABARD to lift the sectors by funding Market Intervention Scheme (MIS) as well as weather-based crop insurance for artisans, farmers, and fruit growers.
“It was our handicraft industry, in particular carpet weaving, paper machie and wood work, that resuscitated our economy during the years of turbulence,” he stated.
On the issue of imparting skills to youth to enhance their employability, the Chief Minister asked NABARD to sponsor two Skill Training Centres for Excellence coming up in Kashmir and Jammu divisions of the state.
He urged the NABARD Chairman to explore the possibility of funding projects of “up to Rs 100 or Rs 150 crore in afforestation, flood protection and livelihood, keeping in view the adverse impact of climate change that saw J&K witness last year one of the worst floods in its history”.
Stressing on the need for “a recapitalisation plan” to recuperate the three District Cooperative Banks in Jammu, Anantnag, and Baramulla districts, Mufti Sayeed said, “Revival of cooperative movement is vital for growth and sustenance of rural economy in the state”.
The government, he said, will “vigorously pursue with New Delhi for allowing the state to credit its share of Rs 139 crore in multiple tranches so that the capital infusion from centre helps revive the ailing cooperative banks”.
“For a state with weak resource base, it will be difficult to provide such a huge sum in one go,” he said.