The Co-operation Minister, Punjab, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa today said that a co-operative movement would be launched in full earnestness in order to enable the farming sector of the state stand on its feet again and bolster crop diversification and an aggressive marketing strategy would be evolved to ensure the running of co-operative institutions on professional lines. The minister disclosed this here today at Milkfed office in Sector-34 in a statement after presiding over a meeting of the higher officials of the Co-operation Department besides Heads of Co-operative Institutions. He also said that no farmer would have to face harrowing time over getting jamabandis for availing Maximum Credit Limit (MCL).Giving a major relief to the farmers approaching fard kendars for getting the jamabandis to avail Maximum Credit Limit (MCL), the Co-operation Minister, Punjab, S. Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa today announced that the farmers won't need new jamabandis who have already been verified by the patwaris or whose land record is uploaded on the portal. The minister also divulged that he has directed the Chief Secretary to issue instructions in this regard that if any farmer needs jamabandi then the same should be made available to him immediately so as to ensure that they don't face harassment. The minister further added that the land ownership report of the farmers already available with the district co-operative banks can be termed as the base in this regard. S. Randhawa also disclosed that the need for the new jamabandi would arise only in that case when the farmer is not agreeable to the present report of the revenue department. He made it clear that if there is any difference pertaining to the ownership area of a farmer in the list downloaded from the governance reforms portal then only that farmer would need new jamabandi.
Divulging more, the minister said that recovery would be given a push to strengthen the co-operative banks and work oriented approach model on the lines of private banks would be adopted. In the 1st phase, a list has been drawn up comprising big time defaulters who are big farmers and haven't repaid even a single loan installment. Making other big announcements, the minister said that these big farmers have loan amount of Rs. 276 crore standing against them. He also added that every month action would be initiated against 20 big farmers and those 20 farmers that have been included this time have loan amounting to Rs. 10-12 crore standing against them. He further said that these farmers have the means to repay the loans but they haven't and also that they have availed loan in the names of their different family members. The first name in the list is that of Dyal Singh Kolianwali of Muktsar District who has a loan amount of Rs.1 crore pending against him.S. Randhawa further elaborated that there are 3543 co-operative societies in the state out of which 1993 are making profits while 1550 are running losses. He said that the department would make strenuous efforts to infuse a fresh lease of life into the societies incurring losses while the profit making ones would be strengthened. He also added that 1450 societies are such that have agro service centres.In order to boost the co-operative banks, the minister decided that a sustained campaign would be launched pertaining to the amounts of the government departments being deposited these banks besides opening accounts in these banks. He further added that in this regard the Rural Development and Panchayats Minister Mr. Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa has agreed to deposit the amounts with regard to his department in the co-operative banks.
The minister, who also holds the charge of Jail Department, said that the salary accounts of the employees of jail department would be opened in the co-operative banks and an ATM of the co-operative banks would be opened in every jail.Coming to SUGARFED, the Co-operation Minister said that Punjab has some sugar mills closed which have the potential to being run. He said that experts would be consulted and a decision regarding this would be taken soon. He also said that at Batala, new sugar mill would be established. He further said that only if on the pattern of wheat and paddy, farmers also start getting the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of sugarcane right after procuring then it would lead to the revival of the sugar mills. He also announced that VERKA milk would be marketed in the National Capital Delhi because it is the topmost brand in Punjab and its base would be vastly expanded in case it is marketed vigorously in Delhi.The meeting was attended by the Additional Chief Secretary cum Financial Commissioner (Co- operation) Mr. D.P. Reddy, Registrar Co-operative Societies Mr. Arvinder Singh Bains, Managing Director Markfed Mr. Rahul Tewari, Special Secretary Co-operation Mr. Gaggandip Singh Brar, Additional Registrar (Administration) Mr. Vimal Setia, Managing Director Punjab State Co-operative Bank Mr. S.K. Batish, Managing Director Punjab State Agricultural Development Bank Mr. Harinder Singh Sidhu, Additional Registrar (Co-operative Societies) Mrs. Nisha Rani, Managing Director PUNCOFED Mr. Muneshwar Chander, Managing Director Punjab State Co-operative Training Institute Mr. Manjit Singh and Additional Chief Auditor Mr. Sarbjit Singh.On the occasion, the Co-operation Minister and all the officers released May issue of the fortnightly magazine of the department namely 'Punjab Co-operation'.