Union Cooperation Minister Amit Shah on Saturday said the Centre and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) will soon undertake an ambitious project to computerise around 65,000 Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) in the country.
Speaking at the 'Sahkar Se Samruddhi' conclave of cooperative entities here at Mahatma Mandir auditorium, he also said the Union government was planning to bring in several amendments to the Multi-State Cooperative Societies Act, 2002.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was also present at the event. "There are nearly 65,000 PACS in the country. We have decided to computerise all these PACS with the help of NABARD. This will prove to be a revolutionary step for our agricultural finance credit system. There will be common software for all PACS, and NABARD will get details on a daily basis, such as daily business and recovery of these PACS," said Shah.
The system will bring transparency and stop cooperative societies from going bankrupt, he said, adding that the government was working to make the PACS "multipurpose".
"We are also bringing in a lot of amendments to Multi-State Cooperative Societies Act. Work is also on to prepare a national database of cooperative entities, as there is no such database at present in the country. We are also in talks with state governments to change the audit system for cooperative societies," said Shah.
"All these changes will bring in more transparency in purchase and recruitment processes and eventually make cooperatives more trustworthy among the masses. I am confident the cooperative sector will rise again to contribute to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's dream of making India a USD 5 trillion economy," he added.
On the occasion, Shah announced that Amul -- the brand owned by the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation -- will soon set up a laboratory in its AmulFed dairy unit in Gandhinagar to certify organic products which will be sold through a cooperative network across the country.
Shah thanked Prime Minister Modi for the formation of the Ministry of Cooperation last year, adding that it was a long-pending demand of the cooperative sector. "This is a revolutionary step by PM Modi and crores of farmers and others associated with cooperatives know that the formation of a separate ministry will give a new lease of life to this sector for another 100 years," said Shah.
He also listed various steps the Modi government has taken for the benefit of the cooperative sector, such as reduction in surcharge and minimum alternate tax on cooperatives and abolition of income tax on additional income of cooperative sugar mills.
-With PTI Input