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Business News/ Industry / Agriculture/  Cooperation ministry signs MoU to enable primary agricultural credit societies
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Cooperation ministry signs MoU to enable primary agricultural credit societies

Amit Shah said that PACS are the soul of cooperatives and making them multipurpose as providers of about 20 services will increase employment opportunities in rural areas

Amit Shah, Union home minister and minister of cooperation.Premium
Amit Shah, Union home minister and minister of cooperation.

NEW DELHI : The Ministry of Cooperation signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, NABARD and CSC e-Governance Services India Limited to enable Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) to provide services offered by Common Service Centers. 

The MoU was signed in the presence of Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation, Amit Shah and Union Minister of Electronics and Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnav. 

Addressing the occasion, the union home minister said that PACS are the soul of cooperatives and making them multipurpose as providers of about 20 services will increase employment opportunities in rural areas. 

Shah added that the role and contribution of PACS in rural and agricultural development is very important. “This agreement is a win-win situation for all. It will not only help in fulfilling Prime Minister’s dream of ‘Sahkar Se Samridhi’ and making cooperatives the backbone of rural development, but it will also strengthen both cooperatives and farmers." 

He said that this will help in advancing the concept of Common Service Centres (CSC) to the smallest unit of the country very easily. 

The minister added that about 50 percent of the country’s population is associated with cooperatives in one way or the other. “Keeping in view the development of such a large sector, Prime Minister took the decision to create a separate Ministry of Cooperation." 

Shah said that making PACS viable was the biggest problem in front of the cooperative sector. “Today a new beginning has been made by adding many new dimensions to the functioning of PACS. It will now be able to undertake 20 different activities including water distribution, storage, Bank Mitra. The first and foremost task is to make the services provided by the Common Service Centres available to the rural population through PACS." 

He added that a provision has been made in this year’s budget to make 2 lakh PACS in the next five years and create a multi-purpose PACS in every Panchayat. “Apart from this, the foundation of the world’s largest grain storage scheme has also been laid in the budget for the cooperative sector. Creation of a national database for the cooperative sector is 70 percent completed. Apart from this, model bye-laws have been prepared and sent to all the states after discussing with all the stakeholders." 

The minister said that as per the agreement signed today, PACS will now be able to function as Common Service Centres, along with this, more than 300 services will be made available to the rural population including 13 crore farmer members of PACS. 

“It will increase the business activities of PACS and help them to become self-sustaining economic entities. With this initiative PACS will be able to provide all the services listed on the Digital Seva Portal of CSC scheme to citizens, including banking, insurance, Aadhaar enrolment/update, legal services, Agri-inputs like farm equipment, PAN card , IRCTC, Rail, Bus, and Air ticket related services," Shah added. 

He said that the national software being developed under the ongoing Centrally-Sponsored Scheme of PACS computerization will also be used for PACS to function as CSCs, which will be a big achievement.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Swati Luthra
Swati Luthra writes on climate change, water, environment and forest issues for Mint. A graduate in Psychology, Swati has been mapping India’s policy initiatives to help meet the pledges made at CoP-26 including achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2070.
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Published: 02 Feb 2023, 08:57 PM IST
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