Primary Agri Credit Societies

According to a written reply in ongoing winter session of Parliament, the Government said that it has taken several important initiatives to financially strengthen Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) including Computerization which entails bringing all the functional PACS onto an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) based common national software which will help in improving their operational efficiency, ensuring speedy disbursal of loans, lowering of transaction costs and increasing transparency.

Also Model Byelaws for PACS have been done to enable them to diversify their business by undertaking more than 25 business activities including dairy, fishery, floriculture, setting up godowns, procurement of foodgrains, fertilizers, seeds, LPG/CNG/Petrol/Diesel distributorship, etc. Also PACS have been formulated to function as Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samriddhi Kendras providing fertilizers, pesticides and various other agri inputs to farmers at a single shop.

Further PACS operate as Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Kendras to ensure availability of generic medicines to rural citizens at affordable prices, etc.

Apart from it, a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the Ministry of Cooperation, Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, NABARD and CSC e-Governance Services India Limited in order to enable PACS to function as Common Service Centre (CSC). This will enable PACS to deliver more than 300 e-services being provided by CSCs, including banking, insurance, Aadhar enrolment, updation, health services, legal services, etc. to rural citizens of the country.

As on date, 24,470 PACS have started providing CSC services, as per the government. In order to address the shortage of food grain storage capacity in the country, the Government on 31 May 2023, has approved the Plan for the “World’s Largest Grain Storage Plan in Cooperative Sector”, which is being rolled out as a Pilot Project. The Plan entails creation of various agri infrastructure at PACS level, including warehouses, custom hiring center, processing units, setting up decentralized godowns, Fair Price Shops, etc. through convergence of various existing schemes of the Government of India (GoI), such as, Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF), Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure Scheme (AMI), Sub Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM) Pradhan Mantri Formalization of Micro Food Processing Enterprises Scheme (PMFME), etc.

PACS, the village level cooperative credit societies, are essentially meant to serve as the last link in a three-tier cooperative credit structure headed by the State Cooperative Banks.

While the attraction of the PACS lies in the last mile connectivity they offer, the government must ensure timely access by farmers to capital which is necessary at the start of their agricultural activities.

Related Articles