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  • K'taka govt invites Amit Shah to grace state-level cooperative conference to be held in Nov-Dec

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17:51 HRS IST

New Delhi, Sep 25 (PTI)
Karnataka Cooperation Minister S T Somashekar on Saturday invited Union Cooperation Minister Amit Shah to be chief guest of a state-level cooperators conference to be held during November-December this year.

Somashekar, who had come to attend the first National Cooperative Conference here in the national capital, submitted a representation in this regard to the Union minister.

The conference will provide an effective platform to showcase and have intensive discussion on the issues, opportunities, plans and proposal to promote growth of cooperative institutions, he said in the letter.

The minister said Karnataka has achieved a reasonable level of success and has become main stream of rural economy and rural credit.

However, interventions are required to further strengthen the sector, he added.

"There is a need to establish a national institute for cooperative development which will focus on facilitating, guiding and supporting the rural entrepreneurship on cooperative basis and also motivate and guide the state to have their own directives to develop cooperative institutions in the state," he said.

Somashekhar said the relief under 80P of the Income Tax Act is now limited only to primary agriculture cooperative societies (PACs) and PCARD Banks. "It is requested to extend the exception to whole sector."

Multi-state cooperative societies are required to act as a link between cooperative of neighbouring states to promote nation building by unification of cooperative and promoting cost-effective production in a more competitive market, he said.

Currently, there are around 45,000 cooperative societies in Karnataka with membership of 242 lakh with the share capital of Rs 6,239 crore. These societies have a working capital of Rs 1.42 lakh crore and deposits of Rs 1.77 lakh crore.

During 2020-21 fiscal, the cooperatives had disbursed a crop loan of Rs 16,641 crore to 25.67 lakh farmers at zero interest rate, while long-term agri-loan of Rs 1,260 crore to 52,015 farmers at 3 per cent interest rate.

For the current fiscal, the crop loan target is Rs 20,810 crore for 30.86 lakh farmers, he added. Out of which, Rs 8,487 crore has been disbursed as on August this year, he added.

The minister also said that the dairy sector in the state adheres to cooperative principles and manufactures 81.26 lakh litres per day which is the second highest in the country.

He said the state government pays Rs 5 per litre as production incentive to the farmers of Milk Producers Cooperatives that amounts to Rs 1,185 crore.

There are 262 urban cooperative banks in the state, the third largest in the country, while 24 banks are exclusively established by women, he added.

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