The cooperation department will open a primary agricultural cooperative thrift and credit society at Naththam village near Thottiyam. The preliminary procedures have been completed and the bank will start functioning within a couple of months, said N.R.Sivapathi, Minister for School Education, Sports and Youth Welfare, while speaking at a function to mark the International year of Cooperatives held here on Saturday.

Mr.Sivapathi said that the bank would cater to the banking and credit needs of a large number of farmers in and around Naththam.

On the power shutdown prevailing in the State, the Minister said that the Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, was fully aware of the problems faced by the people and is evolving various measures to resolve the same.

The Chief Minister attached priority for implementing various developmental schemes in Tiruchi district in general and Srirangam Assembly constituency in particular, as a mark of gratitude to the people of the region. Listing out various schemes proposed by various departments and agencies he said that non-availability of land posed a challenge to the authorities.

A cooperative credit target of Rs.175 crore has been fixed this year and so far Rs.112.48 crore had been disbursed to about 31,800 beneficiaries. It included a total of 4,718 new members who were sanctioned Rs.20.88 crore and 7,327 Adi Dravidar agriculturists who got Rs.35.18 crore. Women members of self-help groups, numbering about 7,300, got a credit of Rs.14.39 crore.

Jayashree Muralidharan, Collector, presided over the function. G.Rajendra Prasad, Regional Joint Registrar of Cooperative Societies, said that several competitions were held as part of the celebrations. P.Kumar, MP, M.Paranjothi, R.Manoharan, T.P.Poonatchi, T.Indira Gandhi all MLAs were present. Later, the Minister gave away loans to the tune of Rs.50.52 lakhs to beneficiaries, prizes to winners in competitions.