Every panchayat should form one PACS: Amit Shah
As the government has the target to enhance the number of PACS to 3 lakhs, PACS need to be made more viable. For this, they need to enter 22 new areas, as mentioned in the draft model bye-laws, circulated to the states, amongst which gas distribution, functioning of PCOs, water distribution, etc, are a few examples. The government is planning to make PACS the medium of long-term finance which can be beneficial for the farmers.
Union Minister for Home and Cooperation Amit Shah said today that every panchayat should develop one Primary Agriculture Credit Society (PACS), for which there should be a five-year plan formulated by state cooperative banks and DCCBs with support from NABARD. He was speaking while inaugurating the National Conference of Rural Cooperative Banks organized by the Ministry of Cooperation and the National Federation of State Cooperative Banks (NAFSCOB) in Delhi.
According to the National Cooperative Union of India (NCUI) press release, Amit Shah said that instead of finding problems with RBI, ways had to be visualized to widen the ambit and reach of PACS. He further emphasized the need for developing a common software for the agricultural credit system which will make the agricultural credit system more transparent.
Shah said that the government’s plans to computerize PACS will have many benefits like transparency in operations. “If PACS become transparent, then they will not face any injustice,” he said. He also emphasized the need to professionalize the working of PACS as their staff needs to be upgraded with new skills.
He further said that as the government has the target to enhance the number of PACS to 3 lakhs, PACS needed to be made more viable. For this, he mentioned that they needed to enter 22 new areas, as mentioned in the draft model bye-laws, circulated to the states, amongst which gas distribution, functioning of PCOs, water distribution, etc, are a few examples. He said that the government was planning to make PACS the medium of long-term finance which can be beneficial for the farmers.
“With the foundation of the 3 lakh PACS being strengthened, district cooperative banks will be strengthened, which in turn will lead to the strengthening of the state cooperative banks,” said Shah. By targeting to make all 3 lakh PACS functional, Shah added, “The cooperatives can set a new target to achieve not just Rs 2 lakh crore but Rs 10 lakh crore through agri-financing alone!” The Cooperation Minister stressed that the decline in agri-finance through cooperative banks as per the NABARD’s Report is a grave concern for the cooperative banking community and that all need to collectively endeavour to improve the situation.
Amit Shah also announced that the Ministry would soon create a communication platform to have dialogues with stakeholders on the issues and problems concerning the cooperative sector. He also listed the new priority areas of the Ministry like the creation of a database, setting up a cooperative university, setting up an export house under the brand name of Amul for marketing organic produce of the cooperatives, etc.
Union Minister of State for Cooperation B. L. Verma said that the cooperative sector provided many opportunities for employment. He said that the government had enhanced the budgetary allocations for cooperative training institutions, and besides the training of officials, there would now be more emphasis on training of the members of cooperatives.
Konduru Ravinder Rao, Chairman, NAFSCOB, said that the Banking Regulation (BR) Act 2020 was indeed welcome as it would professionalize the working of cooperative credit institutions. However, for the study of the operational/issues/handles in the implementation of the BR Act, Government may constitute a committee as it has done in the case of urban cooperative banks. Rao further highlighted the achievements of NAFSCOB in advocacy/policy issues of the cooperative sector, including recapitalization of the cooperative credit structure, interest subvention, etc.
On this occasion, a special publication was released by the Chief Guest Amit Shah on the activities of NAFSCOB.
During this function, the best-performing state cooperative banks/district cooperative banks were awarded. Besides, those cooperative banks were also awarded which had put in more than 100 years of service.
Bhima Subrahmanyam, Managing Director, NAFSCOB, proposed the vote of thanks on the occasion.