Guwahati,June 5: Co-operatives in Assam are all set to get a big boost following the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Assam government and Nabard.
The MoU aims at an integrated development of the short-term co-operative credit structure of Assam and seeks to provide financial assistance to wipe out accumulated losses and increase capital base.
Principal secretary of the department of co-operation V.K. Pipersenia, Nabard chairman U.C. Sarangi and deputy secretary of the ministry of finance in Guwahati Samir Kumar Sinha signed the MoU. The Assam Co-operative Apex Bank Limited and 761 gram panchayat samabay samities (GPSS) will be the major beneficiaries of the package.
A Nabard official said, “Auditors will be appointed to look into and judge the benefits of the package.”
Legal and institutional reforms will introduced by amending the State Co-operative Societies Act, thus making the co-operative credit structure fully autonomous, democratic, member-driven, self-reliant and professionally managed, he added.
Nabard is the nodal agency for implementation of the package. A state-level implementation committee will also be set up soon to monitor and supervise the implementation of the package. The official said the first step would be to improve the financial health of the gram panchayat samabay samities by cleansing their balance sheets and strengthening their capital base. After this, they would move to the upper tiers.
Later, a common accounting system and management information system will be introduced to strengthen the process.
“There is finally some ray of hope for co-operatives in Assam which had gone defunct. However, it all depends on how the package is implemented,” the official said.
In order to suggest measures for improvement in the co-operative credit structure, the Centre has constituted various committees from time to time.
However, such measures did not yield the desired results. The Centre, therefore, constituted a task force in August 2004 to suggest an action plan to revive the short-term co-operative credit structure. The committee submitted its report in February 2005.
The recommendations of the task force were aimed at reviving the short-term credit structure and make it a well-managed and vibrant medium to serve the credit needs of rural masses.
It suggested financial assistance to bring the system to an acceptable level of financial health and legal and institutional reforms for efficient functioning of the system.
Based on the recommendations, Delhi devised a revival package which envisaged the signing of an MoU by respective state governments with the Centre and Nabard.