Radha Mohan Singh, Union agriculture minister, on Tuesday said that Rs 64,000 crore of loans have been disbursed through cooperative sector by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi government in the past four and a half years.
The minister was speaking at the 54th foundation day ceremony of Vaikunth Mehta National Institute of Cooperative Management (Vamnicom). He also laid the foundation stone of the international guest house to be built on the campus.
“When I took charge as the agriculture minister in 2014, the previous government (United Progressive Alliance-II 2010-2014) had disbursed only Rs 19,800 crore of loans through cooperative sector. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government has disbursed more than Rs 64,000 crore till date and the process is going on,” Singh said.
The minister said that while the BJP-led Centre is working on inclusive growth principle ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’, the previous government had followed the personal gain rule of ‘Sabka Sath Parivar Ka Vikas’.
Singh said that Vamnicon should provide skilled manpower to the eight lakh cooperative institutes located across the country.
Satish Marathe, part-time, non-official director on the central board of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), said that of the country’s 10,000 farmer producer organisations (FPO) only 3,000 are functioning properly and providing facilities to eight lakh farmers.
“Our way of looking towards agriculture industry is limited to food security, but it should be developed as a viable economic activity,” Marathe said.
Highlighting the poor figure of processing of agriculture produce in India as mere 15-20 per cent, Marathe said that smaller nations like Vietnam, Taiwan and Malaysia have already touched the 50-60 per cent mark. “We have to increase these numbers and address rural and agriculture sector distress,” he said, adding that Vamnicon should tie up with agriculture varsities to improve the agro sector.
Vamnicon was established in 1967 as a tribute to the doyen of the cooperative movement late Vaikunth Mehta. The institute has been contributing to the cooperative movement through its activities like management training, management education, research and publication, consultancy, and other related activities.