State has 4,843 cooperative societies with 17.35 lakh members  

Shimla: Himachal Pradesh Government is contemplating to promote Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies as multipurpose service centres in collaboration with NABARD to provide multifarious services to farmers under one roof.

State CM Jai Ram Thakur, in a review meeting of Cooperation department here today, said that it was vital to make cooperative movement a people’s movement as this sector had maximum potential of employment and self-employment opportunities.

He said that the cooperative movement should be expanded up to the grass root level to spread its reach amongst the rural populace. He said that presently 4843 cooperative societies were functioning in the State with the membership of 17.35 lakh.

Jai Ram Thakur said that about 2132 Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies were functioning in the State with total 12.56 lakh membership and total deposits of Rs. 5401.96 crores. He said that these PACS include 1914 fair price shops and 1374 fertilizers depots. He said that efforts should be made to strengthen these PACS so that farmers of the State could benefit.

He said that two ICDP projects were being implemented in Solan and Mandi districts with the block cost of Rs. 73.15 crore and Rs. 89.58 crore respectively. He said that the project at Mandi was being implemented by H.P. State Cooperative Bank. He said that out of the first year outlay of Rs. 33.64 crore, Rs. 12.40 crore has been sanctioned by Screening Committee to 164 cooperative societies for business development.

The Chief Minister said that the ICDP project of Solan district was being implemented by Jogindra Central Cooperative Bank Solan. He said that out of the first-year budget of Rs. 23.47 crore, 14 crores has been utilized. He said that 37 cases have been sanctioned by the Screening Committee to different cooperative societies for business development. He said that DPR of ICDP project for Una district with block cost of Rs. 46.47 crore has been submitted to National Cooperative Development Committee for approval.

He said that the State Government was also planning to constitute a three members committee of Cabinet Ministers to look into the amendments in the H.P. Cooperative Societies Act, 1968 to make it more viable and practical keeping in view the present scenario.

Jai Ram Thakur also expressed concern over the Non-Performing Asset (NPA) particularly in case of Kangra Central Cooperative Bank.