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Digitalizing Cooperatives


The enactment of the Cooperative Credit Societies Act in 1904 had kick started the cooperative movement in the country and eventually led to the establishment of the Cooperative Credit Structure in India, which was one of the first sources of institutional credit to farmers and weaker sections of the society.

Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) are grassroots-level institutions, and their membership encompasses individual farmers, artisans, and members of other weaker sections of the society as shareholders. They form the lowest tier of the federated short-term cooperative credit structure with District Cooperative Banks (DCCBs) and/or State Cooperative Banks (StCBs) in their upper tiers. Despite the rich legacy, rural cooperatives have largely not adopted technology in tune with the evolving times. The operations of the upper two tiers viz. StCBs and DCCBs were digitized and brought on Core Banking Solution (CBS) with support from NABARD in the early years of the previous decade. However, the majority of PACS are not computerized and still carry manual entries in the books of accounts resulting in inefficiency and trust deficit.

Centrally Sponsored Project for Computerization of PACS (CSPCP)

On 29 June 2022, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs of the Government of India (GoI) approved a Centrally Sponsored Scheme for Computerization of PACS with the objective of increasing efficiency, bringing transparency and accountability in their operations, facilitating diversification of their business and undertake multiple activities/ services.

This project proposes computerization of about 63,000 functional PACS over a period of 5 years with a total budget outlay of ₹ 2,516 crore with a Government of India share of ₹ 1,528 crore. The shares of State Governments and NABARD in the cost of implementation of the project are ₹ 736 crore and ₹ 252 crore, respectively. Subsequently, 4000 additional PACS have been sanctioned by MoC, GOI for computerisation under CSPCP.

Digitalizing Cooperatives

NABARD is implementing the project, on behalf of the Ministry of Cooperation, which is an effort towards providing requisite computer hardware and peripherals together with Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP) based common software to enable PACS to capture records of all credit and non-credit operations digitally and seamlessly in an efficient and transparent manner. The project comprises of development of cloud-based common software with cyber security, uploading and building a National Level Data Repository (NLDR), training, and other support services. This software will be in vernacular language having the flexibility of customisation as per the needs and requirements of the States.

With the coverage of PACS, all three tiers of the cooperative structure will be digitalized. This initiative shall bring the desired transparency in the operations of PACS and help building the confidence of customers in the system. This will also pave the way for seamless integration of PACS with the CBS of DCCBs and StCB.

Computerization will facilitate the realization of PACS’ true potential by transforming them into Multi-Service Centres (MSCs) to offer an array of products and services, covering the entire gamut of rural livelihood activities.

PM launch of CSPCP: 18,000 digitised PACS were formally inaugurated by the Hon’ble Prime Minister on 24 February 2024 at Bharat Mandapam, New Delhi, in the presence of Hon’ble Ministers of Cooperation & Agriculture and Commerce & Industry. NABARD facilitated participation of 3000 PACS personnel in the inaugural event.

Roadmap for 2024-25:Computerisation of all the 67000 PACS is envisaged to be completed by August 2024.

Launch of ARDB Computerisation Project by Hon’ble Minister of Home & Co-operation

The Hon’ble Minister of Home & Cooperation, Shri Amit Shah launched the project for Computerisation of ARDBs on 30th January 2024 in a National Conference and Workshop organised on “Computerisation of Offices of Registrars of Cooperatives of all the states/UTs and Agriculture & Rural Development Banks” at New Delhi. NABARD is also the implementing agency for the computerisation of 1851 units of ARDBs of 11 States and 02 UTs. The Hon’ble Minister appreciated the overall efforts taken by NABARD in carrying forward the initiatives of the Ministry of Cooperation. Further, NABARD also conducted a special technical session for RCS, DRCS and ARDB representatives for briefing them about the process of Computerisation of ARDBs, the integration with the ‘National Unified Software’, its workflow and overall benefits. As on 22 March 2024, sanction Letter has been issued to 08 States by MoC, GoI for the computerisation of 899 units.

Digitalizing Cooperatives

Roadmap for 2024-25: It is envisaged to complete the Computerisation of all 1851 units of ARDBs by March 2025.

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