The Centre has identified over 1.24 lakh gram panchayats, where there is either no PACS or dairy cooperative or both, where it will accord top priority to facilitate setting up Multi-purpose Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (M-PACS) in the next two years.
Out of 2,69,364 gram panchayats in the country, there were 96,405 panchayats where there are neither any PACS nor any dairy cooperatives after the Cooperation Ministry undertook the effort to create a database, sources said. Additionally, there are 27,954 panchayats where the Ministry has found existence of a dairy co-operative but there are no PACS, the sources said. Besides, there are 680 panchayats in coastal areas, where the Centre sees a potential to create fishery cooperatives as none exists there.
As the model byelaws were earlier circulated to States with a request to adopt it, the acceptance by them will help create more M-PACS in the country. On Tuesday, it decided to allow 2,000 PACS to open Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Kendras. “Unless byelaws are amended, many of the existing PACS may not be able to expand their business even if the government allows them to do. For the new PACS to be set up, it is easier since all of them are expected to adopt the model byelaws,” an expert said. Many of the current PACS have specified areas of business mentioned in their byelaws and mostly are confined to credit and agricultural activities, an expert said.
Source : The Hindu Businessline June