National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) is an apex development bank for rural areas in India which means that it acts as a bank for other banks working for rural upliftment in India. It was established on 12 July 1982 by Act 61, 1981 of parliament. Its headquarters is in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
NABARD was established on the recommendations of the Committee to Review Arrangements for Institutional Credit for Agriculture and Rural Development (CRAFICARD) set up by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) under the chairmanship of Shri B. Sivaraman.NABARD was set up to focus on rural India, like by increasing the credit flow for agriculture and other rural sectors. So it can be said as country’s specialized bank for Agriculture and Rural Development. Thus it is also a part of developing financial inclusion in the country.
To provide and regulate credit and other facilities for the promotion and development of agriculture, small-scale industries, cottage and village industries, handicrafts and other rural crafts and other allied economic activities in rural areas with a view to promoting integrated rural development and securing prosperity of rural areas, and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
Other roles and functions of NABARD:
- NABARD gives high priority to projects formed under IRDP (Integrated Rural Development Programme);
- It refinances those institutions which provide credit to the developmental programmes in rural areas;
- It also refinances to the complete extent for those projects that are taken under the ‘National Watershed Development Programme‘ and the ‘National Mission of Wasteland Development‘;
- Along with refinancing, NABARD also co-ordinates the rural credit financing activities;
- It prepares rural credit plans, annually, for all districts in the country;
- It recommends about licensing for RRBs and Cooperative banks to RBI and acts as their regulator;
- It also supervises the RRBs and cooperative banks to ensure that the rural financing is done with farmers’ welfare;
- It also promotes research in rural banking, and the field of agriculture and rural development;
- It also works for the restructuring of credit institutions, and training and development of staff;
- It also supports the Self-help Group(SHG) which work for the poor; etc.