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Why ‘Sahkar Se Samriddhi’ Scheme in News?

Ministry of Cooperation has taken various initiatives in order to envision ‘Sahkar Se Samriddhi’ scheme, strengthening the cooperation movement in the country, deepening its reach to the grassroots and to enhance the performance, productivity and profitability of cooperative societies.

Initiatives taken by Ministry of Cooperation

A.     Making Primary Cooperatives transparent and economically vibrant (14 initiatives)

  1. Model By-laws for Primary Agricultural Credit Society (PACS) making them multipurpose, multidimensional and transparent entities.
  2. Strengthening of PACS through Computerization.
  3. New Multipurpose PACS/ Dairy/ Fishery Cooperatives in uncovered Panchayats
  4. World’s largest Decentralized Grain Storage Plan in Cooperative Sector to ensure food security
  5. PACS as Common Service Centre (CSCs) for better access to e-services.
  6. Formation of new Farmer Producer Organization (FPOs) by PACS.
  7. PACS given priority for Retail/ diesel outlets.
  8. PACS eligible for LPG Distributorship for diversifying its activities.
  9. PACS as Jan Aushadhi Kendra for improving access to generic medicines at rural level.
  10. PACS as Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samriddhi Kendras (PMKSK) for fertilizer distribution.
  11. Convergence of PM-KUSUM at PACS level for energy security
  12. PACS to carry out O&M of rural piped water supply schemes (PWS.
  13. Micro ATMs to Bank Mitra Cooperative Societies for providing doorsteps financial services.
  14. Rupay Kisan Credit Card to Members of Milk Cooperatives.

B.     Strengthening the Urban and Rural Cooperative Banks

  1. UCBs have now been allowed to open new branches to expand their business.
  2. UCBs have now been allowed to offer doorstep services to their customers by RBI.
  3. Cooperative Banks have been allowed to make one-time settlement of outstanding loans.
  4. Time limit increased to achieve Priority Sector Lending (PSL) targets given to UCBs.
  5. A Nodal Officer designated in RBI for regular interactions with UCBs.
  6. Individual Housing loan limit more than doubled by RBI for Rural and Cooperative Banks.
  7. Rural Cooperative Banks will be able to lend to commercial estate/ residential housing sector, thereby diversifying their business.
  8. License fee for onboarding cooperative banks to ‘Aadhar Enabled Payment System’ (AePS) has been reduced by linking it to the number of transactions.
  9. Non-scheduled UCBs, StCBs and DCCBs notified as Member Lending Institutions (MLIs) in CGTMSE Scheme to increase share of cooperatives in lending.

C.     Relief to Cooperative Societies in Income Tax Act

  1. Surcharge reduced from 12% to 7% for cooperative societies having income between Rs.1 to 10 crore.
  2. MAT reduced for cooperatives from 18.5% to 15%.
  3. A clarification has been issued to remove difficulties in cash transactions by cooperatives under section 269ST of IT Act.
  4. A flat lower income tax rate of 15% will be charged, compared with current rate of upto 30% plus surcharge, for new cooperatives commencing manufacturing activities till March 31, 2024.
  5. Limit increased from Rs.20,000 to Rs.2 lakh per member for deposits and loans in cash by PACS and PCARDBs.
  6. Increase in cash withdrawal limit for cooperatives from Rs.1 crore to Rs.3 crore per annum without being subjected to TDS.

D.    Revival from Income Tax to Sugar Cooperative Mills

  1. Relief from Income Tax to Sugar Cooperative Mills
  2. Resolution of decades old pending issues related to Income Tax of Sugar Cooperative Mills.
  3. 10,000 crore loan scheme launched by NCDC for strengthening of Sugar Cooperative Mills.
  4. Preference to Cooperative Sugar Mills in purchase of ethanol.

E.     Three new Multi-State Societies at the National Level

  1. New National Multi-State Cooperative Seed Society for Certified Seeds.
  2. New National Multi-State Cooperative Organic Society for organic farming.
  3. New National Multi-State Cooperative Export Society for promoting exports.

F.      Capacity Building in Cooperatives

  1. Establishment of World’s Largest Cooperative University.
  2. New Scheme of Cooperative Education and Training.
  3. Promotion of training and awareness through National Council for Cooperative Training (NCCT).

G.     Use of Information Technology for ‘Ease of Doing Business’

  1. Computerization to strengthen the Central Registrar’s Office.
  2. Scheme for Computerization of office of RCSs in States and Union Territories.

H.    Other Initiatives

  1. New National Cooperation Database for authentic and updated data repository.
  2. Formulation of New National Cooperative Policy.
  3. Multi-State Cooperative Societies (Amendment) Bill, 2022.
  4. Inclusion of Cooperatives as ‘buyers’ on GeM portal.
  5. Expansion of National Cooperative Development Corporation to increase its range and depth.
  6. Computerization of Agriculture and Rural Development Banks.
  7. Refund of Investors of Sahara Group of Scieties.

Details of Funds released during the last two years in various schemes/projects

  1. Computerization of PACS Project: The Govt. of India has approved the project on 29th June, 2022 for computerization of 63,000 functional PACS with a total financial outlay of Rs.2,516 crore. Under the project 439.67 crore has been released to States/UTs for hardware procurement, digitization and establishment of support system. Further, Rs.100 crore has been released to NABARD for the development of software. A total of 60,685 PACS have been sanctioned for computerization in 28 States/ UTs.
  2. Central Sector Integrated Scheme on Agricultural Cooperation: 341.67 crore was released in the financial year 2021-22 and Rs.376.93 crore was released in the financial year 2022-23 under the CSISAC Scheme.

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