The Union Cabinet has approved raising extra budgetary resources up to 9,020 crore rupees for Long Term Irrigation Fund in 2017-18. The amount will be raised by NABARD through Bonds.
The Fund seeks to make loans from NABARD attractive for states by ensuring lending rate of 6 per cent per annum.
The loans are for implementation of Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme works of 99 ongoing prioritised irrigation projects under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana.
The completion of projects will generate immediate wage and other employment opportunities during the construction phase.
The utilisation of irrigation potential of 76 lakh hectares is expected to transform the agriculture sector in the region resulting in more employment opportunities.
Union Finance Minister, during his Budget Speech 2016-17, has announced creation of a dedicated Long Term Irrigation Fund (LTIF) in NABARD with an initial corpus of `20,000 crore for funding and fast tracking the implementation of incomplete major and medium irrigation projects.
A Mission has been established in the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation (MoWR, RD & GR) for overall implementation of the scheme.
The Long Term Irrigation Fund (LTIF) aims to bridge the resource gap and facilitate completion of these projects during 2016-2020. 23 projects (priority-I) have been identified to be completed by 2016-17, 31 projects (priority –II) have been identified to be completed by 2017-18 and balance 45 projects (priority – III) have been identified to be completed by 2019-20.