In a bid to strengthen the cooperative movement in the state, Punjab government on announced to come out with a comprehensive plan soon to make all the Cooperative societies across the state financially more viable and sustainable.
A direction to this effect was given by Punjab’s Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal while presiding over a high-level review meeting of the Cooperative Department here at his residence late last evening. Badal directed the officers of the department to work out a strategy for bringing out, all the 1040 loss making cooperative societies out of the total 3533 in the state, from this financial mess by initiating a vigorous campaign, intensifying business activities, clubbing them with other profit making societies in the form of clusters.
Expressing concern over the Agricultural stagnation in the state, Badal said that these cooperative societies could also play a vanguard role in promoting other allied businesses for the peasantry. He further said that it was the need of the hour to reduce the crop input costs for which the state government had established Agro- Centers across the state from where Farmers could get agricultural implements on hire basis instead of purchasing on their own. For promoting this trend amongst the farmers, Badal asked the department to develop at least one such big center in each district as a Model, where all types of Agro equipment be made available in abundance to attract the farmers.
Badal also asked the Cooperative department to provide good quality PAU recommended fertilizers and other agro Chemical at cheaper rates to the farmers at their doorsteps through Cooperative societies, besides availing them cooperative banks loans as per their requirements thereby saving them from the intricacies of Private loans.
The Chief Minister expressed satisfaction over the recent up gradation of the Punjab State Cooperative Bank that had implemented CBS has in its all 842 branches / Head Offices besides availing RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlement system) and NEFT (National Electronic Funds Transfer system) services in 19 District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCBs) and Punjab State Cooperative Bank (PSCB) and it had also been included in the member list of National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI). With the concerted efforts of the cooperative department 3 DCCBs which were in losses till 31.03.2012 have been brought in profit this year i.e. 31.03.2013 and now PSCB and all the 20 DCCBs are in profit as on 31.3.2013. The net profit of PSCB is Rs 18.91 crore and total of DCCBs Rs. 36.84 crore (Total Rs 55.75 crore).
The Chief Minister also give approval to revise the Sehkari Bank Bima Yojna (SBBY) Scheme for the account holders to cover Personal Accident Risk. Presently under the existing SBBY Scheme the account holders with minimum balance of Rs 1500/- in their accounts has a personal accident risk cover of Rs. 1.00 lakh but now under revised SBBY the account holders would have an option of having Personal Accident Risk Cover of Rs 3.00 lakh (for a minimum balance of Rs 3000) and Rs 5.00 lakh (for a minimum balance of Rs 5000 in their accounts).
It was also informed in the meeting that State Cooperative Bank had also become a member of Aadhaar Payment Bridge System (APBS) and roadmap has been prepared for the installation of 100 ATMs and sites have also been identified.