Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF)
- Indian Government had setup RIDF in the year between 1995-96.
- It was set up for the purpose of projects of financing and for the development of the rural Infrastructure.
- National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) the main functionality of this is to maintain and audit the fund.
- Domestic commercial banks donate to the Fund to the extent of their shortfall in stipulated priority sector lending to agriculture.
- The main objective of the Fund is to provide loans to
State Governments and State-owned corporations to enable them to complete ongoing rural infrastructure projects.
- At present, the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) constitutes only a part of the total shortfall of the bank lending to agriculture from the target of 18 per cent.
- The Group has recommended that the entire shortfall should be earmarked for agricultural development.
- The unutilized portion of bank’s obligation towards priority sector lending to agriculture should be fully transferred directly to NABARD or to the central govt.
- By issuing non-transferable Rural Development Bonds (RDBs) for financing agricultural development programmes.
- To mitigate the impact of price collapse in cases of commodities not covered under Minimum Support Prices (MSP’s), financial support may be provided to farmers out of a ‘Price Risk Mitigation Fund’.
- Appropriate regulatory framework and rules should be established to ensure quality inputs to the farmers.
- An adequate number of input testing laboratories needs to be opened at the panchayat/block level to facilitate quality checks of inputs such as seeds, pesticides and fertilizers.
- A clear cut regulatory mechanism should be laid down for indemnifying the farmers for their losses caused by spurious inputs.
- The Group has recommended for implementation of a health scheme for all rural people.
- The total corpus of RIDF (RIDF I to RIDF X) amount to Rs. 42,000 crore.
- Cumulative sanctions and disbursements under various tranches of RIDF stood at Rs.37,718 crore and Rs. 22,946 crore,respectively, on December 31, 2004. Out of 1,36,486 projects sanctioned under RIDF I to VIII, 84,584 projects have been completed.