SRINAGAR: Secretary Cooperative Department, J&K, Shamim Ahmad Leherwal on Tuesday stressed upon the vitality of the cooperative credit institutions and impressed upon upholding the values of the cooperative movement being a tool of social-economic development of the people especially in rural areas.
He was speaking during an interaction-cum-review meeting of the heads of the cooperative banks operating in the state.
The meeting was held at the Corporate Office of J&K State Cooperative Bank and was attended by Registrar, Cooperative Societies, Director Finance Cooperative Department, Chairman J&K State Cooperative Bank, CEOs of all the nine cooperative banks of the state besides other senior officers of the cooperative department.
According to an official handout, he asked the participants to reduce their NPAs and to ensure that asset quality was maintained as per the laid down norms. He asked the banks to take advantage of SSRFAESI Act in improving the health of their loan books. He also stressed upon the need to improve the brand image of the cooperative banks.
In response to the issues raised by CEOs of all the banks, the secretary asked them to submit a joint memorandum to the government ensuring “the government will fulfill all genuine demands”.
Chairman, J&K State Cooperative Bank, M S Dar informed that the cooperative banks have a 290 strong network of branches with deep penetration in rural areas. The nine banks cater to about 15 lakh customers with an annual business of around 5 thousand crores, the handout read.
Requesting the secretary for an early release of recapitalisation package, which has already been approved by GoI and state government, Dar said “an early release would enable the three district central cooperative banks to improve their CRAR and thus pave the way for their revival”.
Dar also requested Leherwal to use his office to get the circular from government that makes it binding upon all the departments and PSUs to keep their funds with a particular bank only, revoked or modified, “so that the cooperative banks are also able to participate in government business and a level playing field is provided”, it further read.
Regarding the revival of PACS (Primary Agricultural Credit Societies), Dar suggested that some of the PACS could be merged and converted into ‘Cooperative Super Bazars’.
Managing Director, J&K State Cooperative Bank, M Lateif Dar requested the secretary that the banks be authorised to dispose of the mortgaged assets of defaulters on their own so that timely management of asset quality becomes possible, the handout added.