Jaitley pitches for irrigation projects for faster returns of investment

New Delhi[India], Dec. 26: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday said that return on investments in irrigation projects for agriculture were visible this season as opposed to investments in sectors such as manufacturing, where returns were visible only after 'a reasonably long period and added that such projects also lead to social satisfaction and economic prosperity.

"This is first time NABARD is financing irrigation projects... Investment in agriculture through irrigation can in next season start showing results and these results lead to social satisfaction, lead to economic prosperity," he said.

"Therefore, it is extremely important that a very large part of the funding comes for that purpose. Using the water resource of the country to its optimum so that the farmers can benefit is one of the prime objectives," he added.

It is true for several other sectors as well, he said after handing over cheques to Maharashtra, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh for implementing various irrigation projects.

With aim to double farmers' income by 2022, the government has entrusted National Bank of Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) to raise in phases over Rs 77,000 crores from market to fund around 100 prioritised irrigation projects, including 56 in drought-prone areas, under the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana over the next 4 years.

The Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act has placed statutory responsibility on the Centre to support Rs 16,000 crores Polavaram Irrigation Project.

The central government has fulfilled its promise of supporting states through the instrumentality of Nabard and Ministry of Water Resources, he said, adding that for federal polity of India, this is very important.

Polavaram project will help supply drinking water to 540 villages and irrigation facility to 7.20 lakh acres and generate 960 MW power.

Source: ANI