Batting strongly for the primary agriculture societies (PACS) NCUI’s Chief Executive N Satyanarayan said for the comprehensive development of rural areas, viable PACS need to be converted into nodal agencies for both input and output needs of the farming community.
Satyanarayan was speaking at the pre-budget consultations called by the Finance Minister Mrs Nirmala Sitharaman on Agricultural and Rural Development. Her junior Anurag Thakur and all the secretaries of related ministries along with ICAR’s DG, NABARD Chairman, among others were present.
There is a govt report that out of the total of 98 thousand PACS, 63 thousand could be computerized and we demand that one third of it be converted into nodal agencies which could spearhead rural reconstruction movement, said the CE of NCUI in his brief speech.
“NCDC schemes or any other govt schemes should be implemented through these agencies. If suppose PACS has to build a building MNREGA labour could be deployed by them, creating employment generation in the process, he explained.
Agri inputs such as seed, fertilizer or credit etc could be serviced through these nodal PACS much efficiently and similarly farmers’ produce should be collected from the field and forwarded either straight to market or value addition depending on the situation by these PACS”, said Satyanarayan explaining the entire gamut of activities such body could undertake.
In his presentation NCUI’s Chief Executive also reminded the gathering about the prevalent taxation on cooperatives in several other countries and demanded that a pre 2006-7 situation, when co-ops were not taxed by income tax department, be restored.
“We also receive tales of woes from many primary co-operatives about the harassment these bodies are subjected to by the Income Tax dept. I request the august gathering to look into the matter and allow investigation only in the cases of high value (Rs 5 or 10 lac) transactions in such co-op bodies”, exhorted Satyanarayan.
Third point which NCUI CE made related to cooperative education and training. Stressing its importance in the growth and functioning of co-operative movement Satyanarayan advocated increased support and emphasis on these. “There is a need to enhance the grant if not by 100% than at least by 50% as NCUI is primarily engaged in training people across the country”, he added.
Satyanarayan was however very appreciative of the union minister as he recounted how she invited people with innovative ideas on farm and cooperative to come forward and share the same. Besides the union Finance Minister, the meeting was attended by Anurag Thakur, Minister of State, Dr Ramesh Chandra, Member, NITI Aayog, Finance Secretary, Expenditure Secretary, Revenue Secretary, Secretary Agriculture and Cooperation, Secretary, Rural Development.
The DG ICAR, Chief Economic Advisor, Secretary, ADF, Secretary, Department of Fisheries, Chairperson, CBDT and other senior officials of the Ministry of Finance were also present, among others.