The RIDF was set up by the Government in 1995-96 for financing ongoing rural Infrastructure projects. The Fund is maintained by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD). The agrarian Indian economy is characterised by high incidence of rural poverty whose main determinants are lack of income, continuous inflationary trend in food prices and inadequacy of economic and social infrastructure affecting the quality of life of the people and their employability.Since poverty eradication is one of the major objectives of RIDF development process, there is a need for prioritising development of rural infrastructure which enables acceleration of the wheels of growth. Development of rural infrastructure such as irrigation, roads and bridges, drinking water supply, flood control, health care, education, etc. are essential to stimulate economic growth and improve the quality of life in the rural and backward areas. Infrastructure development is a necessary pre-condition for integrated rural development. In view of limited scope for private investment in the rural infrastructure, there is the need to step up public investment with all available resources. RIDF is best suited to supplement the efforts of the State Governments in this direction.

RIDF was started as a “last mile approach” to facilitate completion of ongoing irrigation, flood protection and watershed management projects during 1995-96. The scope of RIDF has been widened over the years and as on date covers as many as 37 eligible activities which are broadly classified under three categories as;

  • Agriculture and related sector,
  • Social sector and
  • Rural Connectivity.

Over the years, RIDF has emerged as a dependable source of public funding of impactful rural infrastructure projects. Assistance from RIDF constitutes a significant proportion of the investments by the various State Governments in the rural infrastructure sector.

The main objective of the Fund is:

  • To provide loans to State Governments and State-owned corporations to enable them to complete ongoing rural infrastructure projects.
  • To promote capacity building initiatives/efforts for creation of innovative/ experimental/promotional infrastructure especially in rural sector and rural areas.

Guiding principles:

  • Activities should lead to promotion of sustainable infrastructure development in rural and agriculture & allied sector.
  • Experimental projects/activities should be prototypes of innovative/experimental/ demonstrative nature.
  • Infrastructure assets created should result in improvement or generate demand for other infrastructures of higher order.
  • Special thrust to North-East Regions and Hilly States.
  • Activities undertaken should directly or indirectly lead to promotion of infrastructure in rural areas.

In line with Jal Shakti Abhiyan Campaign, the Department has completed 31 Nos. of water harvesting structures/water harvesting ponds at an estimated cost of ₹.322.32 Lakh, during 2019-2022 under NABARD-RIDF XXV. Further, the Department is going to implement another 29 nos. of Rainwater Harvesting Projects for the Financial Year 2022-23 amounting to ₹. 270.31 Lakh. Click here to see the details

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