NABARD to provide Rs77,000 cr funding for 99 irrigation projects under PMKSY

The government has signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) for raising Rs77,000 crore from the market during the next four years for speedy implementation of 99 prioritized projects under Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme (AIBP) throughout the country, minister for water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation Uma Bharti has said.

Speaking at the signing ceremony of MoA between her ministry and NABARD under PMKSY in New Delhi today, the minister said 56 AIBP projects will cover almost all drought prone districts of 18 states of country. She expressed the hope that with regular monitoring the speedy implementation the government would be able to complete all the 99 projects well ahead of the schedule.

The union cabinet on 27 July had approved the establishment of a mission for completion of 99 prioritised projects and its funding arrangement through Nabard.

The central government launched the Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme (AIBP) in the year 1996-97 to provide central assistance to major/medium irrigation projects in the country, with the objective to accelerate implementation of such projects which were beyond resource capability of the states or were in advanced stage of completion. Priority was given to those projects which were started in pre-Fifth and Fifth Plan period and also to those which were benefiting tribal and drought prone areas.

From the year 1999-2000 onwards, central loan assistance under AIBP was also extended to minor surface irrigation projects (SMI) of special category states (NE states and hill states of H P, Sikkim, J&K, Uttaranchal and projects benefiting KBK districts of Orissa).

Since its inception, 297 irrigation / multi-purpose projects have been included for funding under AIBP. Out of this 143 projects have been completed and five projects were foreclosed. An irrigation potential of 24.39 lakh ha has been created through these projects. The cumulative central loan assistance / grant provided to states under AIBP to all of above project still 31 march 2015 stood at Rs67,539.52 crore. Twenty-five states have been benefited from the programme.

The Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) was launched during 2015-16 with the aim of enhancing physical access of water on farm and expand cultivable area under assured irrigation, improve on farm water use efficiency, introduce sustainable water conservation practices etc.

Major and medium irrigation/multipurpose irrigation projects are being funded under PMKSY-AIBP and repair, renovation and restoration (RRR) of water bodies, surface minor irrigation (SMI) projects and command area development and water management (CADWM) projects are being funded under PMKSY-Har Khet Ko Pani (HKKP).

During 2015-16, central assistance for these projects stood at Rs2,327.82 crore under AIBP while an amount of Rs1,905.81 crore was released for projects under CADWM, SMI and RRR of water bodies together. The total central assistance of Rs4,233.63 crore was released during 2015-16 for PMKSY (AIBP+HKKP)

As per the information supplied by concerned states, 99 projects have been identified for completion up to 2019-20. Out of this, 23 projects (Priority-I) have been identified to be completed by 2016-17 and another 31 projects (Priority-II) have been identified to be completed by 2017-18. The balance 45 projects (Priority-III) have been identified to be completed by December 2019.

Total funds required for completion of all the 99 identified projects have been estimated at Rs77,595 crore (Rs48,546 crore for project works and Rs29,049 crore for CAD works) with estimated central assistance of Rs31,342 crore. Likely potential utilization through these projects is estimated to be 76.03 lakh hectare.

An outlay of about Rs11,060 crore is indicated to be available from 2015-16 to 2019-20 (as per approved outlay) out of which an amount of Rs2,327.82 crore has been released to MMI projects. Balance of Rs8,732.18 crore may be available through budgetary support. However, the requirement of funds to complete the 99 projects is much more than the provision.

The finance minister in his budget speech during 2016 has announced for creation of dedicated Long Term Irrigation Fund (LTIF) in NABARD with an initial corpus of about Rs20,000 crore and an amount of Rs12,517 crore has been provided as budgetary resources and market borrowings during 2016-17.

Keeping in view of the budgetary constraints, it has been decided to borrow central share/assistance from NABARD as per year-wise requirements, which could be paid back in 15 years' time keeping a grace period of 3 years. Further, the proposal envisages that the state governments, if required, may borrow funds from NABARD for the state share.