India

Farmers need financing with a human touch, not ruthless financing, says Home Minister Amit Shah  

Union Home Affairs and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah during the inauguration of National Conference of Rural Cooperative Banks, in New Delhi on August 12, 2022.

Union Home Affairs and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah during the inauguration of National Conference of Rural Cooperative Banks, in New Delhi on August 12, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

Union Home and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah said on August 12, 2022 that farmers need financing with a human touch and not “ruthless financing.”

Mr. Shah said more and more farmers should be connected with primary agricultural credit societies as it still works to finance by keeping a human approach towards farmers.

Mr. Shah said there is a need to establish more than 2 lakh new PACS across the country to achieve the target of providing agri-finance worth ₹10 lakh crore through cooperatives.

He was addressing a national conference on rural cooperative banks organised by Ministry of Cooperation and the National Federation of State Cooperative Banks (NAFSCOB).

Mr. Shah said there are more than 95,000 PACS currently, of which only about 63,000 PACS are functional.

He noted that PACS are the soul of agriculture credit system and therefore it is necessary to strengthen the existing PACS and also expand them adding there are 3 lakh panchayats in India while the numbers of PACS are only about 95,000.

He asked senior officials of State Cooperative Banks (SCBs) and District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCBs) to set a five-year goal in this regard.

Mr. Shah pointed out that agriculture finance through cooperatives have been declining. The 63,000 functional PACS are doing agriculture finance of Rs 2 lakh crore.

If the number of PACS reach 3 lakh, then distribution of Rs 10 lakh crore agriculture finance could be possible through cooperatives, he said.

He said the ministry has floated a draft ‘Model By-laws of PACS’ on which it has invited suggestions from state governments and other stakeholders. He said suggestions have come and the government will soon finalise the model by-laws, which proposes to allow PACS to undertake various activities like dealership of petroleum products and running PDS shops.

The minister stressed on making PACS viable and said the by-laws propose to allow them to undertake 22 new activities. At the event, Union Minister of State for Cooperation B L Verma, 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 were present.

As per an official statement, the short-term cooperative credit structure in India comprises 34 SCBs, 351 DCCBs and 96,575 PACS.


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Printable version | Aug 12, 2022 6:52:21 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/farmers-need-financing-with-a-human-touch-not-ruthless-financing-says-home-minister-amit-shah/article65761572.ece