Cabinet approves strengthening cooperative movement in the country

Cabinet approves strengthening cooperative movement in the country

Recently the Union Cabinet has approved to strengthen the cooperative movement in the country.

  • The central government plans to set up 2 lakh Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) and dairy/fishery cooperatives in the next five years.
  • PACS is the most grassroots short term co-operative credit structure in the country. These cooperatives provide short term and medium-term loans to the member farmers. Along with this, other input services (such as seeds, fertilizers etc.) are also provided.

Key decisions taken in the cabinet –

  • These will be established in every panchayat deprived of PACS. Such committees will be established in every panchayat/village deprived of dairy cooperatives.
  • Apart from these, fisheries cooperatives will be formed in every coastal panchayat/village as well as panchayat/village having large water bodies.
  • An integration approach of collective efforts of all departments, agencies etc. of the Government will be leveraged by combining separate schemes of the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying.
  • A high level inter-ministerial committee will be constituted to oversee the implementation of the scheme. Its chairman will be the Home and Cooperation Minister.
  • NABARD, National Dairy Development Board and National Fisheries Development Board will prepare an action plan for the implementation of this project.

Importance of the decisions taken in the cabinet meeting-

  • These will provide the necessary forward and backward linkages to the farmers for marketing their produce. Apart from this, loan facilities and other services will also be available at the village level itself.
  • Employment opportunities will be created in rural areas. Along with this, farmers will also get better price for their produce.
  • Cooperatives will be able to modernize their essential infrastructure to diversify their business activities.

Recent Initiatives for PACS

  • Ministry of Cooperation has made new bylaws for uniform adoption of PACS.
  • The Ministry of Cooperation is also preparing a National Cooperative Database.
  • PACS/Dairy/Fisheries cooperatives will be linked with their respective district and state level federations.

Primary Agricultural Credit Societies:

  • PACS are grassroots level co-operative credit institutions that provide short term and medium term agricultural loans to farmers for various agriculture and farming activities.
  • It works at the grass root level, Gram Panchayat and Village level. The first Primary Agricultural Credit Society (PACS) was formed in the year
  • Working on the basis of co-operative banking system, PACS constitute major retail outlets for short term and medium term loans to the rural sector.

Importance of PACS:

  • Access to Credit: PACS gives smallholder farmers access to credit, which they can use to buy seeds, fertilizers and other inputs for their farms. This helps them to improve their production and increase their income.
  • Financial Inclusion: PACS helps increase financial inclusion in rural areas where access to formal financial services is limited. They provide basic banking services, such as savings and loan accounts, to farmers who do not have access to formal banking services.

Source – PIB

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