The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) is looking to almost double its balance sheet to Rs 7 trillion over the next five year from Rs 3.9 trillion now. The development finance institution's chairman Harsh Kumar Bhanwala said the just legislated Nabard Bill will help in growing its balance sheet size. Last week, the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Amendment) Bill, 2017, was passed by Parliament after the Rajya Sabha okayed it and the new law allows the institution to increase the authorised capital by six times to Rs 30,000 crore from Rs 5,000 crore now. The Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha last August. "Our asset size has grown from Rs 2 trillion a few years ago to Rs 3.9 trillion as of December 2017 and it will touch Rs 4 trillion by this March.
We are targeting it take it to Rs 7 trillion in the next five years and the recent amendment to the Nabard Bill will help us in achieve this target," Bhanwala told reporters here today.He said increase in paid-up capital will give more headroom to Nabard to raise capital from the markets. Nabard is allowed to raise up to 10 times of its net owned fund which would be nearly Rs 380 billion by end-March. He said they would deploy the money raised in various agriculture projects such as irrigation, development of dairy infrastructure and market infrastructure and rural housing. "There are various agriculture projects that require massive investments. Nabard has been identified to provide upfront money. There was a delay as every year some money used to be allocated in the Budget for such projects, but then government decided to give Nabard upfront money to be invested in these areas," he said. The increase in paid-up capital will help Nabard maintain its ratings and to also repose market confidence in it, which will in turn support in raising money at the lowest rates, Bhanwala said. He said Nabard is also in talks with government to consolidate regional rural banks.