New Delhi [India] August 12 (ANI): Union Home and Cooperative Minister Amit Shah while inaugurating a one-day National Conference of Rural Cooperative Banks on Friday said that India's overall cooperative movement has been "uneven" with some states having prospered while in others the concept has failed to take off.
The minister also urged cooperatives to formulate a long-term strategy and augmentation for the efficient functioning of Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS).
"If we see the map of the country's cooperative movement we can see that it has become uneven. There are some states where the movement has prospered, while it is still struggling in other states. There are also some states where the movement has remained confined to only books," Shah said.
"If we want to expand the cooperative movement to reach every tehsil and panchayat of the country, we need to think of a different strategy," the union minister said.
Keeping in mind the overall potential of the cooperative sector and taking all the states together towards growth, a new ministry for cooperative was introduced by the central government in July 2021.
In June this year, the Centre approved the computerization of Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) to increase their efficiency and bring transparency and greater accountability in their operations. The project proposes the computerization of about 63,000 functional PACS over five years with a total budget outlay of Rs 2,516 crore and the Centre's share of Rs 1,528 crore.
PACS are ground-level cooperative credit institutions that provide short-term and medium-term agricultural loans to farmers for various agricultural and farming activities.
PACS account for 41 per cent (3.01 crore farmers) of the Kisan Credit Card loans given by various entities in the country and 95 per cent of these KCC loans (2.95 crore farmers) through PACS are to the small and marginal farmers.
While addressing today's conference on Rural Cooperative Banks, Amit Shah said that more farmers need to be brought under the PACS system.
He said that provisions would be created in by-laws to liquidate ailing PACS and in turn create new cooperative societies. (ANI)