The Centre plans to make primary agricultural credit societies (PACS) ”multi-purpose” and model bylaws for the same are ready, Union Home and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah said on Sunday.
The government also plans to form a multi-state cooperative society for seed culture and marketing as well as certification of organic products across the country, Shah said at the annual general meeting of seven cooperative institutions of Amreli district in Gujarat, where the Assembly elections are due later this year.
”Seva Sahkari Mandali (PACS) will be made multipurpose with facilities for marketing, godowns, making gobar (dung) gas, electricity bill collection, facility for gas distribution agencies, Nal Se Jal scheme, etc. Model bylaws are ready for this multi-purpose mandali, and it will be sent to you before September-end,” he said.
”The country’s PACS will be multi-purpose and profit making,” the minister said. Shah said the government also aims to raise the number of PACS in the country from the existing 65,000 to three lakh during the next five years starting from December.
”The day three lakh PACS are registered, there will be one PACS in every panchayat in the country,” he said, adding that the government has also undertaken their computerisation. The government plans to come out with a new cooperative policy with the facility for registration of cooperative societies in sectors like health, insurance, transportation and tourism, he said.
With Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s emphasis on natural farming, the government plans to set up a multi-state cooperative for marketing and certification of organic products, which will directly benefit farmers involved in organic farming, Shah said at the event.
”For certification and marketing of organic products, Amul and five cooperative societies have been brought together to form a multi-state cooperative society, to set up a laboratory in every state to check soil and organic products and certify them as Amul organic product, so that the profit is transferred directly into the bank accounts of farmers,” he said.
Shah also informed about setting up a multi-state cooperative export house to export agriculture products to the world market for the benefit of farmers. Attacking opposition parties, Shah said when Congress was in power in Gujarat, all dairy cooperatives in the state’s Saurashtra region were closed down giving an opportunity to private players to exploit milk producers.
After Modi was the chief minister of Gujarat, cooperative dairies started functioning properly, he said. Shah also said the idea of setting up a separate cooperation ministry was given by the then Minister of State for Agriculture Parshottam Rupala. Rupala, who was present at the event, is now the Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying.
”When Rupala was the Minister of State for Agriculture, he talked about the condition of cooperative leaders in Krishi Bhavan. If there is anybody who first told Narendrabhai (Modi) about setting up a separate cooperation ministry, it is Parshottam Rupalaji,” Shah said.
”Later Modi asked me to inquire and see what can be done. I said there was nothing to inquire about as it is something that needs to be done. so let us do this. PM Modi then formed a separate cooperation ministry as a new effort to make crores of farmers of the country prosperous,” he said.