A.R. Rajashekar, president of the Chikmagalur District Co-operative Central Bank, has urged cooperative societies to face the challenges thrown up by the new economic policies of the cooperative sector as well as competition from private financial institutions in responding to the financial needs of the rural people.

Inaugurating a workshop for presidents, CEOs, and directors of co-operative societies in Tarikere on Wednesday, Mr. Rajashekar announced that his bank intends to conduct a business of Rs. 175 crore during the current financial year.

Stating that schemes would be implemented with assistance from NABARD, the State Government, and the Centre to provide financial assistance to farmers and traders, he said steps would be taken for recovery of loans. He said the bank would be completely computerised soon and brought under the core banking system next year.

Assuring that his bank would contribute to the overall development of the district, he reiterated that the Government's decision to lend interest-free loans of up to Rs. 1 lakh to farmers would be implemented. He cautioned the participants of the workshop to adopt safe financial practices while developing their co-operative societies.

Mahadevappa, managing director, Manjunath, chief executive officer of the bank, and S.B. Anandappa, zilla panchayat vice-president, spoke.