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Nabard may cut refinance rates for coop banks

Our Bureau

Nitte (Udupi dist.) , March 20

THE National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) is likely to reduce the rate of refinance for cooperative banks.

The Chairperson of Nabard, Ms Ranjana Kumar, who was here to address the students of K.S. Hegde Institute of Management, said that this would give greater fillip to agriculture sector.

In an interactive session with students, she said that micro-finance groups in rural areas should be converted into micro enterprises. Training and marketing are necessary for the success of micro-finance groups.

Self-help groups (SHGs) could be successful, provided they directly interact with customers. These should avoid middlemen in their endeavours. Ms Kumar stressed the need for the inclusion of food-processing industries in agriculture, and said that this area is emerging as a good business proposition.

India is the largest producer of milk, second largest in vegetable production, and ranks 10th in fruit production. Those interested in food-processing activities should exploit these areas, she said.

Nabard is making efforts to add to the rural prosperity, and concentrating on the projects specific to areas such as fisheries and food processing.

Asked about the problems of farmers in several States, she said that certain cases have to be taken up for restructuring crop-related loans. "The farmer is a wise man and needs to be supported."

Ms Kumar said that the process of learning and un-learning is important for the success of any organisation. The process of unlearning has helped various public sector banks to reach new heights today.

Addressing students on managerial skills, Ms Kumar said that one should have a plan, which should be monitored effectively. Corrections could be made mid-way if there are problems in the plan. Top-level management should not give knee-jerk and panic reactions to the problem. This could be counter-productive for the health of the organisation. Instead, steps should be taken to analyse the problem and rectify it.

The former Chairman and Managing Director of Syndicate Bank, Dr N.K. Thingalaya, welcomed the gathering. The Director of K.S. Hegde Institute of Management, Dr Moodithaya, proposed a vote of thanks.

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