THE STATE Government signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Union Government and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) in the State capital on Tuesday for revival of short-term cooperative credit structure in the State.
The signing of MoU shall pave the way for flow of financial assistance to the primary agriculture credit societies (PACS), district central cooperative banks and State cooperative bank to wipe out accumulated losses as on March 31, 2004.
On the basis of the Vaidyanathan Committee recommendations, the State will get a financial assistance of Rs 2,567 crore for strengthening the existing co-operative societies in the State.
The MoU was signed in the presence of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan between NABARD’s managing director Dr KG Karmarkar and Secretary, Cooperatives Pravesh Kumar Sharma. The Vaidyanathan Committee, appointed by the Centre for examining the issue, made wide range of recommendations for providing the assistance.
Reiterating his commitment for making farming a profitable occupation in the State, Chouhan said the interest rate has been lowered to seven per cent on co-operative loans to facilitate farmers procuring seeds and fertiliser.
He also stated this significant achievement would help strengthen co-operatives and make farmers prosperous. Finance Minister Raghavji said the co-operative movement could not gain momentum due to economic constraints in the past.
The availability of Rs 2,567 crore to the co-operative societies would result in enormous progress for the movement in the State.
Cooperatives Minister Gopal Bhargava termed the MoU a milestone. He said the assistance would improve farmers’ economic condition. He expressed the hope that co-operative movement would be freed from political clutches shortly and professional leaders will have no role to play in it.
The MD of NABARD congratulated the State Government for deciding implementation of the package and expressed the hope that cooperatives in the State would emerge stronger and serve farmers better.
According to the Vaidyanathan committee recommendations, of Rs 2,567 crore assistance, the Centre will provide Rs 2,136 crore grant . The State Government share would be Rs 283.27 crore and Rs 44.74 crore will be borne by short-term credit co-operative societies.
The State Government has already made a provision for the purpose in current year’s budget.