Union Cooperation Minister addressed the 70th AGM of the Gujarat State Co-operative Agriculture and Rural Development Bank Ltd. » Bhajpa Ki Baat
The Union Home and Cooperation Minister, Shri Amit Shah, addressed the 70th AGM of The Gujarat State Co-operative Agriculture and Rural Development Bank Ltd. , held in Ahmedabad, through video conferencing from New Delhi today.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Amit Shah said today India is celebrating the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav and will celebrate the Centenary of Independence after 25 years. The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, has placed the resolve before the Nation of Sahakar Se Samriddhi (Prosperity through Cooperation) Shri Modi has entrusted the responsibility of contributing to the prosperity and economic upliftment of the country to the cooperative sector. Today, after completing 70 years in the Sahakari Mahakumbh of Gujarat, this agriculture bank is entering the 71st year, I would like to congratulate farmer and others associated with the bank on this occasion.
Shri Amit Shah said that The Gujarat State Co-operative Agriculture and Rural Development Bank Ltd. called the Kheti Bank, was established in 1951 and its establishment also has historical significance. There were about 222 small princely states in Saurashtra and Kathiawar at that time and land in Saurashtra as a whole was in the name of the Princely states. The farmers used to till the land for the King and earn their living. But when the integration of the princely states took place under the leadership of the Iron Man of the country, Sardar Patel and the Indian Union came into existence, then naturally farmers became the owners of that land. But at that time farmers did not have money to pay the price to the princes and due to this the land could not be made in their name. At that time a Saurashtra Land Mortgage Bank was established by taking the inspiration from Sardar Patel and through the efforts of Udaybhan Singh ji, the Crown Prince of Porbandar, and as a result, the process of giving loans to farmers to make them the owners of the land began. Today the farmers of Saurashtra, Kutch and North Gujarat are the owners of the land and the biggest credit goes to this agriculture bank. At that time, this bank had played a major role in making 56,000 farmers the owners of land by giving loans.
Shri Shah said that the main reason for the land being owned by farmers today, is the loan given by the agriculture bank and later the bank started many types of works. Farmers became land owners, but leveling of land, arranging for irrigation, digging wells, bringing mechanical means for farming, all this remained to be done. In such a situation, Kheti Bank took the responsibility of giving medium and long term loans and today, Kheti Bank is giving medium and long term loans for agriculture infrastructure to farmers of Gujarat. In this way, the agriculture bank has freed many farmers from the clutches of moneylenders. From this point of view, this is a big contribution of this agriculture bank in Gujarat’s agriculture sector. He said that the call to make the country self-reliant in food grain production was given by the then Prime Minister Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri. Even at that time, this agriculture bank had contributed by giving loans for tractors and digging of wells.
Shri Amit Shah said that after the establishment of NABARD, the nature of agriculture bank changed slightly and along with agriculture, this agriculture bank began disbursing loans for rural development, cottage industries, dairy and self-employment. Today Kheti Bank has emerged as the largest agriculture finance bank by disbursing medium and long term loans. Kheti Bank’s 17 district offices and 176 branches provide medium and long term loans and the Kheti Bank has given loans of about Rs. 4,543 crores to about 8,42,000 farmers so far. Its members exceeded three lakh and the Reserve Fund has reached Rs. 590 crores after including last year’s profit. Fixed deposits have exceeded Rs. 238 crore and within a year, the Kheti Bank has balanced its finances very well by recovering loans of about Rs. 190 crore.
The Union Cooperation Minister said that the Bank has done a very good job under all parameters set by the Reserve Bank of India and NABARD for banking. He said that earlier loans were given at an interest rate of 12 to 15 percent, but now they are given at 10 percent. Earlier, even 2 percent concession was not available for regular repayment of loans, but now a 2 percent concession is also given. Apart from this, many other types of banking charges have also been reduced. By bringing in a one-time settlement scheme for account holders, recovery has also been made and the burden on account holders has also been reduced. Shri Shah said that in the Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency, GSC Bank, ADC Bank and Agriculture Bank together have decided to register all girls under the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana and give a check of Rs.25 lakh to the District Collector.
Shri Amit Shah said that the Government led by Shri Narendra Modi at the Center has made many reforms in the banking sector. Under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, 45 crore new bank accounts have been opened, 32 crore RuPay debit cards have been given, digital transactions have crossed US $ one trillion. There has been an increase of 50 times in comparison to digital transactions in 2017-18. Through DBT, benefits of about 300 schemes of 52 ministries have been directly sent to beneficiaries. He said that the entry of cooperatives in all these schemes will take place very soon, which will increase connectivity with citizens. He said that the way efforts are being made to take agriculture banks out of their losses and making them profitable, in the same way, everyone associated with cooperative sector will work together to fulfil the resolve of Prosperity through Cooperation of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.
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