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Nabard to give thrust to rural tourism in Karnataka

Our Bureau

Bangalore , April 5

THE National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) plans to help rural tourism in Karnataka gain momentum with a proposal to extend financial assistance from the current fiscal.

The refinance agency, which had held discussions with Government for working out a proposal, has identified rural tourism as a thrust area for taking exposure.

Rural tourism, which receives less attention from any financial institution or banks, will be developed through a `Mission Approach' under which 18 destinations have been identified. The bank would extend assistance for setting up infrastructure such as small hotels and give assistance to micro-entrepreneurs engaged in business in tourist centres such as Humpi, one of the world heritage centre, and other historic centres in the State.

The proposal is part of an overall scheme that the bank has identified under its credit linkage plan at the district levels in the State, according to Mr B.B. Mohanty, Chief General Manager, Karnataka Region.

Nabard, which has been involved along with various financial institutions in the credit planning process at the district level through preparation of potential linked credit plans for all the districts in the State, saw an increased potential for credit deployment. The bank expects a credit potential for Rs 11,360 crore during the fiscal 2004-05 as against Rs 9,600 crore during 2003-04.

Nabard would try to realise this potential to the fullest extent. In addition to providing refinance, Nabard would widen the reach to its co-financing arrangements along with commercial banks, a scheme introduced during 2003-04, to cover more client institutions to assist high-tech and export oriented units in agriculture, projects with large financial outlay and those relating to thrust areas and national priorities or involving sunrise technologies.

Nabard had extended assistance to banks in Karnataka to the tune of Rs 1,530 crore towards production and investment credit during 2003-04, an increase of Rs 125 crore from previous year.

It had extended an assistance of Rs 304 crore to the Government for rural infrastructure and watershed development projects and Rs eight crore grant or revolving fund assistance for various promotional intervention. The overall assistance from Nabard for the State during 2003-04 was Rs 1,842 crore, as against Rs 1,660 crore during the previous fiscal.

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