Gujarat, India – The Minister of Cooperation, Amit Shah, announced in the Rajya Sabha on February 7, 2024, that the Micro-ATMs to Bank Mitra Cooperative Societies initiative will be implemented in all districts of Gujarat. This decision comes after the successful pilot project in Panchmahal and Banaskantha districts, where 1,723 Micro-ATMs were distributed.
The initiative aims to transform Dairy and Fisheries cooperative societies into Bank Mitras of District Cooperative Central Banks (DCCBs) and State Coop Bank (StCBs). To ensure their ease of doing business, transparency, and financial inclusion, Micro-ATMs are being given to these Bank Mitra Co-operative Societies with support from NABARD to provide ‘Door-step Financial Services’.
In a similar vein, after the distribution of 1,23,685 Rupay Kisan Credit Cards to Members of Milk Cooperatives in Panchmahal and Banaskantha districts, this initiative too is being rolled out across all districts of Gujarat. The cards are being distributed to the members of cooperatives to provide credit at comprehensively lower interest rates and to enable them to carry out other financial transactions.
Amit Shah also stated that the individual housing loan limit of Urban Coop Banks has now been doubled from Rs 30 lakh to Rs 60 lakh and in case of Rural Coop Banks, the limit has been increased to two and a half times to Rs 75 lakh.
The government has established three new National Level Multi-State Societies: a new National Multi-State Cooperative Seed Society for certified seeds; a new National Multi-State Cooperative Organic Society for organic farming; and a new National Multi-State Cooperative Export Society for promoting exports.
For ‘Ease of Doing Business’ in the Cooperative sector, extensive use of information technology is being implemented. The Central Registrar’s Office is being computerised to create a digital ecosystem for Multi-State Cooperative Societies. A centrally sponsored project for computerisation of RCS Offices has been approved by the Government. So far, proposals from 33 states/UTs have been received for the project, out of which 30 have been sanctioned. To strengthen the long-term cooperative credit structure, the project of computerisations of 1,851 units of Agriculture and Rural Development Banks (ARDBs) spread across 13 states/UTs has been approved by the Government.
Out of a total of 8,02,639 Cooperative Societies in 29 different sectors in India, 81,307 cooperative societies are in Gujarat.
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