Prime Minister's Office

PM inaugurates and lays foundation stone of multiple key initiatives for Cooperative sector


Inaugurates pilot Project of the 'World's Largest Grain Storage Plan in Cooperative Sector' in 11 PACS of 11 states

Lays foundation stone for additional 500 PACS across the country for construction of godowns & other agri infrastructure

Inaugurates project for computerization in 18,000 PACS across the country

“Cooperative sector is instrumental in shaping a resilient economy and propelling the development of rural areas”

“Cooperatives have the potential to convert an ordinary system related to daily life into a huge industry system, and is a proven way of changing the face of the rural and agricultural economy”

“A large number of women are involved in agriculture and dairy cooperatives”

“Modernization of agriculture systems is a must for Viksit Bharat”

“Viksit Bharat is not possible without creating an Aatmnirbhar Bharat”

Posted On: 24 FEB 2024 12:21PM by PIB Delhi

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi today inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of multiple key initiatives for the Cooperative sector at Bharat Mandapam, New Delhi. The Prime Minister inaugurated the pilot project of 'World's Largest Grain Storage Plan in Cooperative Sector’, which is being done in 11 Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) of 11 States. The Prime Minister also laid the foundation stone for additional 500 PACS across the country for construction of godowns & other agri infrastructure under this initiative. This initiative aims to seamlessly integrate PACS godowns with the food grain supply chain, fortifying food security and fostering economic development in the country with a collaborative effort supported by NABARD and spearheaded by the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC). This initiative is being implemented through convergence of various existing schemes like the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF), Agriculture Marketing Infrastructure (AMI), etc. to enable PACS participating in the project to avail subsidies and interest subvention benefits for undertaking infrastructure development. The Prime Minister also inaugurated a project for computerization in 18,000 PACS across the country, aligning with the government's vision of "Sahakar se Samridhi" aimed at rejuvenating the cooperative sector and empowering small and marginal farmers.

Speaking on the occasion the Prime Minister noted that Bharat Mandapam is witnessing another milestone in the journey of Viksit Bharat i.e. a step forward in the direction of ‘Sahkaar se Samriddhi’.The power of cooperation has a huge role in strengthening the foundation of agriculture and farming, this has led to a separate Ministry for Cooperation. He said that the 'World's Largest Grain Storage Plan in Cooperative Sector’ launched today will result in thousands of warehouses and godowns in every corner of the country. This and other projects like computerization of PACs will give new dimensions to agriculture and modernize farming in the country. 

The Prime Minister underlined that cooperatives are an ancient concept for India. Quoting a scripture, the Prime Minister explained that a large task can be accomplished if smaller resources are put together and said that this model was followed in the ancient system of villages in India. “Cooperatives were the foundations of India’s atmanirbhar society. It is not just any system, but a belief, a spirit”, PM Modi remarked, highlighting that this spirit of cooperatives is beyond the boundaries of systems and resources and produces exceptional results. He said that it has the potential to convert an ordinary system related to daily life into a huge industrious system, and a proven result of the changing face of the rural and agricultural economy. Through this new Ministry, the Prime Minister emphasized, the government aims to bring together the fragmented powers of the agricultural sector of India

Giving the example of Farmers Producers Organisation (FPOs), the Prime Minister noted the growing entrepreneurship among the small farmers in villages. He said due to having a separate Ministry, 8000 FPOs out of a target of 10,000 FPOs are already functional in the country. The benefits of cooperatives are now reaching fishermen and pushupalaks also. More than 25,000 cooperative units are functional in the fishery sector. The Prime Minister reiterated the government’s goal of establishing 200,000 cooperative societies in the coming years. 

Recalling his experience as Chief Minister of Gujarat, the Prime Minister cited the success stories of Amul and Lijjat Papad as the power of cooperatives and also highlighted the central role of women in these enterprises. The government has given priority to women in the policies related to the cooperative sector. He mentioned ensuring board representation for women by amending the Multi-state Cooperative Societies Act. 

The Prime Minister underlined that cooperatives have the potential to tackle the personal issues of farmers with collective strength and gave the example of storage. Pointing out the losses incurred by farmers due to lack of storage infrastructure, the Prime Minister drew attention to the world’s largest storage plan of 700 lakh metric tons initiated by the government and to be completed in the next 5 years at a cost of Rs 1.25 lakh crores. He said that it would enable farmers to store their produce and sell it at the right time according to their own needs while also helping to avail loans from banks.

“Modernization of agricultural systems is equally important for the creation of a Viksit Bharat”, the Prime Minister said, highlighting the government’s endeavour to create a new role for government organizations such as PACS. He stated that these committees are functioning as Jan Aushadhi Kendras while thousands of PM Kisan Samruddhi Kendras are also being operated. He also mentioned cooperative committees operating in the areas of petrol, diesel, and LPG cylinders while PACS also plays the role of water committees in several villages. This, the Prime Minister said, has increased the productivity of loan committees and also created new sources of income. “Cooperative committees are now acting as common service centers in villages and providing hundreds of facilities”, he added, noting the emergence of technology and digital India to take the services to farmers on a larger scale. He further added that it will create new employment opportunities for the youth in the villages.

The Prime Minister outlined the importance of cooperative institutions in the journey of Viksit Bharat. He asked them to contribute towards the goals of Aatmnirbhar Bharat. “Viksit Bharat is not possible without an Aatmanirbhar Bharat '', the Prime Minister stressed. He suggested that the cooperative should list the items for which we are dependent on import and explore how the cooperative sector can help with producing them locally. He gave an example of edible oil as a product that may be taken up.  Similarly, cooperative push for ethanol can reduce dependence on oil imports for energy needs. Pulse import is another area that the Prime Minister suggested for cooperative societies for the reduction of foreign dependence. Many manufacturing goods can also be taken up by the cooperatives, he said.

The Prime Minister also underlined the role of the cooperatives in natural farming and turning farmers into Urjadata (provider of energy) and Urvarakdata (provider of fertilizer). He said rooftop solar and solar panels on the borders of the farms can be seen as areas for cooperative initiative. Similar intervention is feasible in Gobardhan, production of bio CNG, manure and waste to wealth. This will reduce fertilizer import bills also, he said. He asked the cooperative to come forward in global branding of the efforts of the small farmers. He also asked them to make Shri Anna-Millets available on dining tables globally. 

Focussing on the role of the cooperative in increasing rural income, the Prime Minister noted the impact of the dairy cooperative in his constituency Kashi. He also noted the strides made by cooperatives in the honey sector as honey production increased from 75 thousand metric tonnes to 1.5 lakh metric tonnes and honey export increased from 28 thousand metric tonnes to 80 thousand metric tonnes in the last 10 years. Acknowledging the role of NAFED, TRIFED and state cooperatives, the Prime Minister asked to expand the ambit of these bodies. 

Underlining the benefits of digital payment and Direct Benefit Transfer, the Prime Minister emphasized the need for direct and digital payment by the PACS. He also asked them to come forward for soil testing and make soil health card campaign a success. 

The Prime Minister drew attention to increasing the contributions of the youth and women in cooperatives. He suggested that farmers associated with cooperatives be taught to analyse the health of the soil and make produce accordingly. He said that it would create a new environment and reenergize the sector. The Prime Minister also stressed creating awareness about skill development and training in the cooperative sector. “PACS and cooperative societies will also have to learn from each other”, the Prime Minister said, suggesting the creation of a portal for sharing best practices, a system for online training and modules to take forward best practices. Speaking about the Aspirational District Program, the Prime Minister mentioned creating healthy competition among districts and suggested a similar mechanism in the cooperative sector. He also touched upon the importance of bringing transparency in the elections of cooperative organizations to boost people's confidence.

The Prime Minister highlighted the government’s efforts to make cooperative societies the basis of prosperity and mentioned reducing the cess on cooperative societies with income between Rs 1 crore and Rs 10 crore from 12 percent to 7 percent. This has led to increased capital for the committees while also opening various avenues to move forward as a company. He pointed out the discrimination in alternative taxes between cooperative societies and companies and mentioned reducing the minimum alternate tax for societies from 18.5 percent to 15 percent, thereby establishing equality between cooperative societies and companies. The Prime Minister also stated increasing the withdrawal limit to Rs 3 crore from Rs 1 crore annually tackling the issue of TDS on withdrawals. Concluding the address, the Prime Minister expressed confidence that the joint efforts in the direction of cooperation will open up all the possibilities of development with the collective strength of the country. 

Union Minister for Home Affairs and Cooperation, Shri Amit Shah, Union Minister for Agriculture, Shri Arjun Munda and Union Minister for Commerce, Shri Piyush Goyal were present on the occasion among others. 

Background

The monumental project has been approved with a financial outlay of more than Rs 2,500 crore. This initiative involves transitioning all functional PACS onto a unified Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) based national software, ensuring seamless integration and connectivity. By linking these PACS with NABARD through State Cooperative Banks and District Central Cooperative Banks, the project aims to enhance the operation efficiency & governance of PACS, thus benefiting crores of small & marginal farmers. NABARD has developed the National Level Common Software for this project, tailored to meet the diverse needs of PACS across the country. Onboarding of 18,000 PACS on ERP software has been completed, marking a significant milestone in the project's implementation.

 

 

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