Monday, July 22, 2024

Cooperative banking system gained in strength during our govt: CM

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Lauds APCOB’s role in supporting farmers, thereby contributing to their economic wellbeing

PNS | Vijayawada

Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy highlighted the significant growth journey of the cooperative banking system in the State, which began four years ago with the implementation of NABARD Consultancy Services (NABCONS) recommendations by the Government.

Addressing the Diamond Jubilee celebrations on Friday, the Chief Minister said that the Andhra Pradesh State Cooperative Bank (APCOB), with a 60-year history of ups and downs, has now reached a stage where it actively supports farmers, contributes to their economic prosperity, and strengthens the rural economy.

As a result of the NABCONS recommendations, the government amended the 1964 Act to fortify cooperative banking governance and appointed professionals through a uniform selection process to lead APCOB and District Cooperative Central Banks (DCCBs). Additionally, the government infused Rs 295 crore as share capital for DCCBs, the Chief Minister said.

During the event, the Chief Minister unveiled APCOB’s new logo and the APCOB Brand Identity Guidelines (BIG) book. As a token of its success, the bank presented him with a dividend cheque of Rs. 55.93 crores.

“This is the first time APCOB is issuing a dividend to the government, and I am delighted to receive it. This marks a special day in the State’s cooperative history,” said the Chief Minister.

He also recalled the efforts of his father, former chief minister Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy, who played a pivotal role in strengthening the cooperative credit system by investing Rs 1850 crore into the bank and providing Rs 217 crore as share capital to DCCBs in 2008, following the recommendations of the Vaidyanathan Committee.

Despite facing hurdles, APCOB has regained its growth trajectory after YSRCP came to power, attributing the turnaround to enhanced efficiency and transparency.

Acknowledging the role of commercial banks in contributing to agriculture and farmers’ prosperity through liberal loans, the Chief Minister said that the government had introduced reforms and actively involved cooperative banks in the growth process.

Over the last four years, the net worth of DCCBs and APCOB had risen to Rs 1,005.89 crore and Rs 36,700 crore, respectively, from Rs 53,249 crore and Rs 13,700 crore in 2019, driven by digitalisation and professional administration.

With a budget allocation of Rs 25 crore for digitisation and computerisation of the cooperative banking system, APCOB and DCCBs will become more accessible to farmers and self-help groups in villages, leading to more transformative changes in the future. The Chief Minister also noted that, except for Eluru, all other DCCBs are now running profitably. He expressed pleasure in Kurnool and Kadapa DCCBs making profits after 36 and 28 years, respectively.

The introduction of farm mechanisation with the support of Regional Bank for KVKs (RBKs) has enabled APCOB to provide Rs 500 crore in loans. The linkage of all Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies (PACs), DCCBs, and APCOB to RBKs will ensure efficient and transparent credit services for farmers and women’s self-help groups.

The Chief Minister predicted that once the linking process is complete, the rural economy will experience a boost, leading to greater prosperity for the farming community and women’s groups. Furthermore, the village economy will witness additional improvements with more agricultural inputs becoming available at RBKs.

During the event, the Chief Minister honoured the CEOs and other officials of Krishna, Srikakulam, Nellore, and Kurnool DCCBs for their exemplary performance.

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