Amit Shah advocates to set up 2 lakh new PACS in every Panchayat for agri-finance.
Home and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah stated on Friday that more than 2 lakh new primary agriculture credit societies (PACS) are needed across the country to meet the aim of delivering ₹10 lakh crore in agri-finance through cooperatives.
He was speaking at a rural cooperative bank national conference organized by the Ministry of Cooperation and the National Federation of State Cooperative Banks (NAFSCOB).
Also Read | Govt preparing model by-laws to govern 63,000 Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS).
According to Shah, there are currently about 95,000 PACS, with only roughly 63,000 of them operational.
He stated that PACS are the heart of the agricultural financing system and that it is, therefore, vital to enhance and extend existing PACS.
According to Shah, there are 3 lakh panchayats in India, but only about 95,000 PACS. As a result, he stated that more than 2 lakh additional PACS are required.
He requested that State Cooperative Banks (SCBs) and District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCBs) set a five-year target in this regard.
Agriculture financing through cooperatives has been falling, according to Shah. Agriculture funding totaling ₹2 lakh crore is handled through the 63,000 operational PACS.
If the number of PACS reaches 3 lakh, he believes that agricultural loans of ₹10 lakh crore might be distributed through cooperatives.
The minister stated that the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the computerization of PACS in order to improve efficiency and provide openness and accountability to their operations.
This project proposes the computerization of around 63,000 functioning PACS over a 5-year period with a total budget investment of ₹2,516 crores, with the Centre contributing ₹1,528 crores.
‘Computerization is a treatment for a hundred diseases,’ Shah said, adding that it will aid in the improvement of their human resources and accounting systems.
Shah stated that the ministry has circulated a draught ‘Model By-laws of PACS’ and has solicited feedback from state governments and other stakeholders.
He stated that recommendations have been received and that the government would shortly finalize the model by-laws, which propose to allow PACS to engage in businesses such as petroleum product dealerships and the operation of PDS shops.
The minister emphasized the importance of making PACS sustainable, stating that the bylaws suggest allowing them to engage in 22 new activities.
PACS is the lowest tier in the country’s three-tier short-term cooperative credit (STCC) system, with around 13 crore farmers as members, and is critical for the development of the rural economy.
Aside from model by-laws for PACs, Shah stated that the government is working on a new cooperation strategy, establishing a university and an export house, and constructing a cooperative database.
Shah also awarded performance prizes to a few SCBS/DCCBs/PACS, as well as congratulated a few short-term cooperative credit institutions on their 100-year anniversary.
Union Minister of State for Cooperation B L Verma attended the event, as did Cooperation Secretary Gyanesh Kumar, NAFSCOB Chairman Konduru Ravinder Rao, NAFSCOB’s MD Bhima Subrahmanyam, NCUI President Dileep Sanghani, Kribhco Chairman Chandra Pal Singh Yadav, and NAFED Chairman Bijender Singh.
Also Read | Centre had virtual meeting with 32 states, 7 UTs to digitalize 97,000 PACs.
According to an official declaration, India’s short-term cooperative credit structure consists of 34 SCBs, 351 DCCBs, and 96,575 PACS.
On May 19, 1964, NAFSCOB was founded with the broad goal of easing the operations of State and Central Cooperative Banks and developing a short-term cooperative credit system.
NAFSCOB provides its members and their affiliates/shareholders/owners with a shared forum to project their accomplishments, address their concerns, and promote their interests.