Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu has said that the state government would strengthen cooperative banks by providing all possible assistance.
He announced this during the SPARK-2023 event organized by the Himachal Pradesh State Co-operative Bank Ltd (HPSCB) on Sunday.
The Chief Minister unveiled the bank’s new logo. He also launched the internet banking facility, Academy for Agriculture Entrepreneurship Development for Growth and Empowerment (Aagri EDGE) and website.
The Chief Minister also released the bank’s vision document during the event.
Emphasizing the need for the HPSCB to be prepared for future challenges, he said that banks should be equipped with digital technology and provide facilities to customers utilizing modern technology.
He said that reforms will be implemented within six months to enhance the functioning of cooperative banks and assured that permissions under Section-118 of the Himachal Pradesh Tenancy and Land Reforms Act 1972 will be given on priority to co-operative banks for land purchase.
Sukhu said that the first budget of the present government symbolizes the system revamp, in which efforts have been made to strengthen the rural economy.
HPSCB should ensure its active participation in the implementation of these initiatives, he added.
“The state government is formulating a scheme to provide loans up to Rs. 20 lakh at the rate of one percent interest to poor students for higher education, so that no one is deprived of education due to a lack of resources,” he said, adding along with this, taxi operators are going to be issued permits to run e-taxi in the coming time.
The state government will provide a 50 percent subsidy on the purchase of e-taxi, e-bus and e-truck. The state government will provide 40 percent financial assistance to set up solar power projects ranging from 250 kW to 2 MW and the electricity generated would be purchased by the Himachal Pradesh Electricity Board Ltd.
The cooperative banks should liberally provide loans in these schemes, whose sovereign guarantee would be provided by the state government, he asserted.
He said that the state government would make the cooperative bank a prime bank for the scheme of setting up solar energy projects.
Deputy Chief Minister, Mukesh Agnihotri highlighted the significance of the cooperative movement in Himachal Pradesh, which has gained recognition nationwide.
He stated that the first cooperative society was established in 1892 in Panjawar, located in Una district within his assembly constituency, Haroli.
He emphasized that cooperative banks in Himachal Pradesh, initiated through societies, now serve as the backbone of the state’s economy.
While acknowledging instances where individuals tarnished the reputation of cooperatives, he assured that the state government is taking corrective measures to transform cooperatives into a new mass movement. Agnihotri urged officers to work with the bank’s reputation in mind.