Ministry of Cooperation
azadi ka amrit mahotsav

Development of Co-operative Agricultural Credit Societies

Posted On: 06 DEC 2023 4:24PM by PIB Delhi

In order to develop the nature of Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) as public service delivery centres and diversify their business activities to make them vibrant economic entities at Panchayat/ village level, various initiatives have been taken by Ministry of Cooperation such asModel Byelaws for PACS, Computerization of PACS, etc. Model Byelaws will enable PACS toundertake more than 25 business activities, including dairy, fishery, floriculture, setting up godowns, procurement of foodgrains, fertilizers, seeds, LPG/CNG/Petrol/Diesel distributorship, short-term & long-term credit, custom hiring centers, common service centers, Fair Price Shops (FPS), community irrigation, Business Correspondent activities, etc. By adopting Model Byelaws, PACS would be able to serve as multi-service centers, catering to varied needs of member farmers in rural areas. Model Byelaws will also help in improving the operational efficiency, transparency and accountability of PACS; providing agricultural credit and various non-credit services to the farmer members, thus giving them additional sources of income.

Further, in order to strengthen PACS, a Centrally Sponsored Project for Computerization of 63,000 functional PACS with a total financial outlay of ₹2,516 Crore has also been approved by the Government of India, which entails bringing all the functional PACS onto an ERP(Enterprise Resource Planning) based common national software, linking them with NABARD through State Cooperative Banks (StCBs) and District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCBs). Computerization of PACS will help in improving the operational efficiency of PACS, ensuring speedy disbursal of loans, lowering of transaction costs and increasing transparency.

Several other initiatives have also been taken by the Government which can be utilized by PACS to act as Public Service Delivery Centres such as functioning as Common Service Centers (CSCs) to provide more than 300 e-services to rural citizens including banking, insurance, Aadhar enrolment/ updation, health services, legal services, etc.; operating as Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samriddhi Kendras (PMKSKs) to provide fertilizers & related agri-services to farmers; functioning as LPG Distributors; operating Retail Petrol/ diesel outlets; providing Operations & Maintenance (O&M) services for rural piped water supply scheme, etc. Various initiatives taken by the Ministry for development and strengthening of the cooperative ecosystem including PACS are enclosed as Annexure.

In addition to the above, PACS have also been allowed by the Government to operate Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Jan Aushadhi Kendras (PMBJK) under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Pariyojana of Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers. Under this scheme, PACS can now apply online for opening PMBJKs.

PACS functioning as PMBJKs will be able to provide generic medicines at affordable prices, which are 50%-90% less than that of branded medicines in the open market, to rural citizens. The Jan Aushadhi Kendras provide around 1965 drugs and 293 surgical items at reasonable prices. So far, 4,289 PACs have applied online for opening PM Jan Aushadhi Kendras, out of which 2,293 PACS have been given initial approval.

This was stated by the Minister of Cooperation, Shri Amit Shah in a  written  reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.

 

      AY/ASH/RR/334

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