Ahead of assembly polls, the Maharashtra government has approved a financial package of R231 crore to district cooperative banks and primary agriculture credit cooperative societies. There are 21,382 primary agriculture credit societies and 31 district cooperative banks in the state.
District cooperative banks would get R136 crore while agriculture credit societies would receive R95 crore, said Harshavardhan Patil, minister for cooperation. According to him, around 33 lakh farmers are dependent on these societies, which disburse loans worth R40 crore annually.
The financial condition of cooperative banks has been a cause for concern for the state government. As many as 11 district cooperative banks are bleeding — in Nagpur, Wardha, Buldhana, Kolhapur, Dhulia, Nashik, Beed, Nanded, Osmanabad, Sangli and Jalna.
District cooperative banks are becoming weak and that is worrying, the minister had recently said. He said though the state government has helped several banks, fiscal discipline is also required.
The government recently decided to do away with all cooperative land development banks in the state. These banks owe the state government R1,700 crore in guarantees against long-term loans provided to 37,000 farmers while the amount of non-recovery is around R850 crore, according to industry sources.
The government has also decided to take possession of all properties of these banks located in various cities.