Rural Infrastructure Development Fund
Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) is a unique initiative by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) in India to provide financial assistance for the development of rural infrastructure. RIDF was created in 1995-96 with an initial corpus of Rs 2,000 crores, and it has been instrumental in transforming the rural landscape of India.
Eligible Activities under RIDF
RIDF is a credit facility that is available to State Governments, State-owned corporations, State Government-sponsored and supported organizations, Panchayat Raj institutions, and Self-Help Groups for undertaking eligible activities. These activities are classified under three broad categories, namely social sector, agriculture and related sector, and rural connectivity.
- The social sector includes activities such as solid waste management, construction of Anganwadis, setting up of Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) centers, pay and use toilets, infrastructure for rural education institutions, drinking water, and public health institutions.
- The agriculture and related sector encompasses activities like mechanization of farm operations, dedicated rural industry estates, separate feeder lines, solar photovoltaic power plants, infrastructure works related to solar energy, energy conservation, wind energy, desalination plants in coastal areas, infrastructure for information technology in rural areas, village knowledge centers, mini-hydel projects up to 25 MW, medium and major irrigation projects, modern abattoirs, riverine fisheries, community irrigation wells, fishing harbors, grading, plantation and horticulture, seed/agriculture/horticulture farms, market yard, godown, mandi, rural haat, marketing infrastructure, cold storage, public/joint sector cold storage at various exit points, drainage, flood protection, forest development, watershed development, soil conservation, and minor irrigation projects.
- Rural connectivity covers rural bridges and rural roads.
In 2020-21, Rs 29,848 crores was allocated to RIDF, bringing the cumulative allocation to Rs 18,500 crores. The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) recently announced that it provided Rs 1,236 crores to Assam in 2020-21 from its Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF). This allocation is a significant step towards rural development in the state of Assam.
Benefits of RIDF
RIDF has been instrumental in transforming rural India by providing the much-needed financial assistance for infrastructure development. The fund has been instrumental in providing a boost to the agricultural sector by providing finance for mechanization of farm operations, modern abattoirs, riverine fisheries, grading, plantation, and horticulture.
The fund has also been instrumental in providing a boost to rural connectivity by providing finance for rural bridges and rural roads. The development of rural infrastructure has been critical in addressing the rural-urban divide and promoting inclusive growth.
The RIDF has also been instrumental in creating employment opportunities in rural areas, promoting entrepreneurship, and improving the standard of living of the rural population. The fund has provided an impetus to the growth of the rural economy, which has been critical in achieving sustainable development.
Month: Current Affairs - May, 2021