Kheti Bank has done a very good job by all parameters set by RBI and NABARD: Amit Shah

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Minister of Home Affairs and Union Cooperation, Shri Amit Shah addressing the 70th Annual General Meeting of Gujarat State Co-operative Agriculture and Rural Development Bank Ltd., held in Ahmedabad, via video conference from New Delhi today.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Amit Shah said today that India celebrates the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav and will celebrate the centenary of independence after 25 years. Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi placed the resolution before the Nation of Sahakar Se Samriddhi (Prosperity through Cooperation) Shri Modi entrusted the responsibility of contributing to the prosperity and economic development of the country to the cooperative sector. Today, having completed 70 years in the Sahakari Mahakumbh of Gujarat, this agricultural bank is entering its 71st year, I would like to congratulate the farmer and other associates of the bank on this occasion.

Shri Amit Shah said that Gujarat State Co-operative Agriculture and Rural Development Bank Ltd. called Kheti Bank was established in 1951 and its establishment also has historical significance. There were about 222 small princely states in Saurashtra and Kathiawar at that time and the land in Saurashtra as a whole was in the name of the princely states. The farmers worked the land for the king and earned their living. But when the integration of the princely states took place under the leadership of the Iron Man of the country, Sardar Patel and the Indian Union came into existence, then naturally the farmers became the owners of these lands. But at that time the farmers had no money to pay the price to the princes and because of that the land could not be made in their name. At that time a land mortgage bank of Saurashtra was established inspired by Sardar Patel and thanks to the efforts of Udaybhan Singh ji, the crown prince of Porbandar, and hence the process of granting loans to farmers to make them owners of the land began. Today the farmers of Saurashtra, Kutch and North Gujarat own the land and the biggest credit goes to this agricultural bank. At that time, this bank had played a major role in making 56,000 farmers owners of land by granting loans.

Shri Shah said the main reason why the land is now owned by the farmers is because of the loan given by the agricultural bank and later the bank started many kinds of works. Farmers became landowners, but leveling the land, arranging irrigation, digging wells, providing mechanical means for agriculture, all this remained to be done. In such a situation, Kheti Bank took the responsibility of providing medium and long term loans and today, Kheti Bank is providing medium and long term loans for agricultural infrastructure to farmers in Gujarat. In this way, the agricultural bank freed many farmers from the clutches of loan sharks. From this point of view, it is a great contribution of this agricultural bank to the agricultural sector of Gujarat. He said the call to make the country self-sufficient in the production of food grains was made by then Prime Minister Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri. Already at that time, this agricultural bank had contributed by granting loans for tractors and by digging wells.

Shri Amit Shah said that after the establishment of NABARD, the nature of agricultural bank changed slightly and along with agriculture, this agricultural bank started disbursing loans for rural development, cottage industries, produce dairy and self-employment. Today, Kheti Bank has become the largest agricultural finance bank disbursing medium and long term loans. The 17 district offices and 176 branches of Kheti Bank offer medium and long term loans and Kheti Bank has extended loans of around Rs. 4,543 crores to around 8,42,000 farmers so far. Its membership exceeded three lakh and the reserve fund reached Rs. 590 crores after including last year’s profit. Fixed deposits topped Rs. 238 crores and within a year, Kheti Bank balanced its finances very well by picking up loans of around Rs. 190 crores.

The Union Cooperation Minister said that the Bank has done a very good job by all the parameters set by the Reserve Bank of India and NABARD for banking operations. He said that before the loans were granted at an interest rate of 12 to 15%, but now they are granted at 10%. Previously, even a 2% concession was not available for regular loan repayment, but now a 2% concession is also given. Apart from this, many other types of bank charges have also been reduced. By implementing a single settlement system for account holders, collection has also been achieved and the burden on account holders has also been reduced. Shri Shah said that in Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency, GSC Bank, ADC Bank and Agriculture Bank decided together to register all girls under the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana and hand over a check of Rs.25 lakh to the collector of district.

Shri Amit Shah said that the government led by Shri Narendra Modi at the Center has made many reforms in the banking sector. Under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, 45 crore new bank accounts were opened, 32 crore RuPay debit cards were issued, digital transactions exceeded US$1 trillion. There was a 50x increase in digital transactions in 2017-18. Through DBT, benefits from approximately 300 schemes in 52 ministries were sent directly to beneficiaries. He said that the entry of cooperatives in all these programs will take place very soon, which will increase connectivity with citizens. He said that the way efforts are being made to pull agricultural banks out of their losses and make them profitable, in the same way, all those associated with the cooperative sector will work together to realize the desire for prosperity through the cooperation of the Prime Minister. Minister Shri Narendra Modi.

(With GDP entries)

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