Staff Reporter

Steps being taken to identify bogus members: Minister

ERODE: Cooperative movement was suffering because of enrolment of unwanted and bogus members. The Government was taking steps to identify them and revive the cooperatives. Certainly the cooperatives would flourish soon, said Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Women Empowerment Subbulakshmi Jagadeesan here on Saturday.

Ms Jagadeesan distributed the best cooperatives award at the Cooperative Week Celebrations conducted by the cooperative department.

She recalled the services of S.K. Chenniappa Gounder, S.K. Paramasivam and many others who strived for the movement's development. She said once the Erode Chinthamani Cooperative Super Market was very popular. But owing to some reason or the other, it had lost its sheen. All attempts would be made to revive the super market, she added.

The Minister said at present the Primary Agricultural Cooperative Banks had reduced the crop loan interest rate from nine per cent to seven per cent and the difference of two per cent was borne by the Government.

She said the NABARD was granting funds to the State Cooperative Bank at 5.5 per cent interest and latter to District Cooperative Central Bank at 5.75 per cent interest rate. The Central Cooperative Bank was granting the money to PACBs at seven per cent and the PACBs were giving loans to farmers at nine per cent interest.

Because of this three-tier system, the interest rates were increasing. The Chief Minister was taking steps to introduce a two-tier system. If this was done, the farmers would get loans at a lesser rate of interest.

Handloom Minister N.K.K.P. Raja said through the cooperative department many ration shops were run in the district. He wanted the officials to supply the commodities at correct weight.

Distributing prizes to the winners of various competitions conducted in connection with the Cooperative Week Celebrations, Highways Minister M.P. Saminathan said over one lakh farmers were benefited by the loan waiver and a sum of Rs. 330 crore had been waived from the Erode district alone.

He said all cooperative banks were granting liberal loans and wanted people to use the opportunity.

Collector D. Karthikeyan presided. MLAs Vidiyal S. Sekar, L.P. Dharmalingam, Additional Registrar of Cooperatives S. Ponmani, Joint Registrar of Cooperatives A.M. Jamshed Basha and Managing Director, Erode District Central Cooperative Bank, K.M. Vellingiri spoke.