New Delhi: Union Cooperation Minister Amit Shah has said that National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development NABARD is ensuring development and prosperity in rural areas by making rural banking accessible.

Addressing the 42nd Foundation Day of NABARD in New Delhi, Mr Shah said, a country that has more than 65 percent rural population cannot be imagined without an institution like NABARD. The Cooperation Minister said, for the last four decades, NABARD has proved to be the backbone of this country's rural economy, infrastructure, agriculture, and cooperative institutions. He said, it has been the backbone for self-help groups for over one and a half decades. 

Mr Shah said, today villages are becoming self-sufficient and at the same time agriculture, the soul of the rural economy, is making its mark in the whole world. 

He said NABARD has a huge role in making every person in the village self-reliant especially the women, through self-help groups and establishing them in society with self-respect. The Cooperation Minister said, NABARD has successfully increased the work of refinancing and capital formation. he said, so far eight lakh crore rupees have been injected into the rural economy through NABARD for capital formation. 

He said, to meet the various needs of agriculture, NABARD has refinanced 12 lakh crore rupees in the rural agricultural economy. Mr Shah said, in 42 years, NABARD did the work of refinancing 20 lakh crore rupees in the rural economy with a growth rate of 14 percent. Calling it a big achievement in the rural economy, he said, no one except NABARD can do the work of strengthening the country's rural economy, strengthening finance in the country's cooperative system and increasing rural infrastructure in the Amrit Kaal of Independence. 

The Cooperation Minister said, NABARD has provided financial assistance to one crore Self Help Groups. He said, it is the largest programme of microfinancing in the whole world and the country achieved this feat through NABARD.

He said, District Cooperative Bank has

initiated the service of providing Rupay credit cards along with debit cards. Mr Shah said, under the co-operative scheme, the bank accounts of members of all co-operative societies have been transferred to the district co-operative bank and all the milk producer societies have been included as Bank Mitra. He said, if we move ahead with the concept of ‘Cooperation among Cooperatives’ in the cooperative system of the country and if the entire money from PACS to APACS remains within its fold, then the cooperative system will require no money from anybody.

The Union Minister said, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the period of nine years, from 2014 to 2023, is historic across many fields especially in eradication of poverty and development of agriculture. He said that whenever the history of the country will be written, the 9 years of governance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be etched in golden letters. 

Mr Shah said, due to lack of timely changes in the laws, the cooperative system had deteriorated over time as it could not synchronize itself with the modern changes taking place in society and the field of finance. 

He said, Prime Minister Narendra Modi formed the Ministry of Cooperation to revive this entire cooperative system and made the lives of crores of people prosperous. The Cooperation Minister said, in the past two years Government has made many changes in PACS. With NABARD as nodal agency, computerization of 63 thousand PACS is being done, under which, the entire system from PACS to NABARD, including banking, auditing, will be made online through software. He said, the government has also changed the bylaws of PACS and made them multi-dimensional. Mr Shah said, now, PACS will also engage in the work of storage, open Jan Arogya Kendra, run Fertilizer shops, become part of PDS system, and will be provided the work of petrol pump and gas agency.

On this occasion, Mr. Shah also distributed Micro-ATM cards to milk societies and RuPay Kisan Credit cards to the members of these societies.

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