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    Need to Re-strategize to Take Cooperatives to Panchayats, Says Amit Shah

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    Need to Re-strategize to Take Cooperatives to Panchayats, Says Amit Shah

    Shah said that a five-year strategy is required to reach primary agricultural credit societies to each panchayat as two lakh panchayats are yet to have PACS.

    Union home and cooperation minister Amit Shah today stressed the need for a different strategy to take cooperatives to every panchayat of the country. The minister for cooperation said this in his inaugural address to the day-long national conference of rural cooperative banks in New Delhi today.

    Speaking on the occasion, Amit Shah said that the cooperative movement will only expand when everyone’s thrust area will be common.

    For this, Shah spoke of the need of a five-year strategy to reach primary agricultural credit societies (PACS) to each panchayat as two lakh panchayats are yet to have PACS. He said that government has approved the computerization of PACS with the objective of increasing their efficiency and bringing transparency and accountability to their operations.

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    Every district cooperative bank should have a five-year strategy on how PACS can be formed in their areas, in every panchayat and every state cooperative bank should monitor this strategy and NABARD should also confirm this strategy with its various schemes.

    The Union Minister of Cooperation said the scope of work of PACS will have to be increased, efforts will have to be made to bring more farmers under the purview of PACS. PACS work with the philosophy of providing finance to farmers through a humane approach, therefore there should be an effort to increasingly connect farmers with PACS.

    Computerisation, transparency

    He said many banks, district cooperative banks and PACSs are working in different ways on the basis of cooperative principle in different sectors. But, he said, proper results will not be visible if there is no commonality in the focus of these cooperative banks and PACSs, especially to expand the cooperative sector and also its reach and to increase farmers’ prosperity and that of the agriculture sector and the Nation, then proper results will not be visible.

    Computerization of PACS will automatically upgrade their human resource, prudential norms of finance will automatically be applied to PACS, audit arrangements will be automatically integrated into the accounting system and alerts will be issued automatically. Computerization can be successful only when District Cooperative Banks take it to the very bottom most level. He said many States have completed computerization, but there is no uniformity. It is very important to bring the agriculture credit system in the country under a common software. He said reforms have to start from within cooperatives and if there is improvement and transparency in their administration, then there will be no injustice done to cooperative banks or PACS.

    He said that along with strengthening the agriculture credit framework, there is also a need to reform it. There is need to work on taking cooperatives to every sector and agricultural credit should only be available through this.

    Illustrious history

    The minister of cooperation said that the cooperative movement in India has many achievements to its credit during its almost 120 years old history. While in some states the cooperative movement has progressed in every field, in some other states the cooperative movement is struggling, while in yet in some other states the cooperative movement has remained only in the books. He said that if the cooperative movement is to develop uniformly and increase its scope, then a different strategy will have to be devised.

    He said that rural cooperative banks have played a significant role in connecting rural India with the country’s economy that by stressing on cooperatives, the government is providing a golden opportunity for the cooperative sector.

    On the occasion, Amit Shah presented the performance awards to select state cooperative banks, district central cooperative banks (DCCBs or PACS) and felicitated a handful of short-term cooperative credit institutions for their services over 100 years.

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