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Centre working on Rs 2,000-3,000 cr scheme to digitalise PACs

Thursday, 21 Oct 2021
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The Union Ministry of Co-operation is working on a new Central scheme to modernise and digitalise over 97,000 primary agriculture cooperative societies (PACs) spread across the country, with a budget outlay of around Rs 2,000-3,000 crore over the next five years.

Primary agriculture cooperative societies (PACs) -- commonly known as agri-cooperative credit societies -- are village-level lending institutions based on cooperative principles. They provide short and medium term loans to rural people to meet their financial requirements.

There are about 97,961 PACs across the country, out of which viable ones are about 65,000.

After digitalisation of PACs, banking procedures will get smooth and benefit in auditing. Besides, it will ensure the benefit of farm loans reaches the last mile because in a few states agri-credit is still disbursed through PACs.

Since PACs are under the ambit of state government, the scheme envisaged will be on 60:40 basis for five years

Earlier when the Cooperation Department was part of the Union Agriculture Ministry, only one scheme, the Integrated Scheme of Agriculture Cooperation (ISAC) -- under which subsidy is being given to PACs for upgrading their capital infrastructure -- was being implemented.

A new Ministry of Cooperation was formed in July 2021 to strengthen the cooperative movement. It is working on a new cooperative policy and some central schemes.

The Department of Personnel and Training (DOP) has already created and sanctioned 168 posts for the new ministry.
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