February 19, 2019
Cooperation Dept launching 3,641 ATMs across Bangla to help farmers
The State Cooperation Department is launching 3,641 ATMs across Bangla for the convenience of farmers. These will be fully functional by March this year. Those farmers who have accounts associated with any cooperative bank or any cooperative society are eligible to use these ATM facilities via ATM cards, which would also be given by the government.
These 24-hour ATMs will help farmers avoid withdrawing cash in bulk from cooperative banks or cooperative societies and enable them to draw money as and when required. Also, being located in villages, farmers would no longer have to travel to block headquarters.
An additional benefit of the ATM cards is that the core banking system functioning within cooperative banks and societies will enable farmers to extract money from the ATM of any cooperative bank.
Customer service points (CSP) were started first. They have been established in 2,631 primary agricultural cooperative societies (PACS) in villages to provide banking services to the rural unbanked populace. Now ATMs are being set up at the CSPs.
About 81 lakh farmers are associated with cooperative banks and cooperative societies throughout the State.
The Cooperation Department took the initiative to set up the ATMs after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee herself instructed the Finance Department to launch them at the earliest.
The Cooperation Department plans to significantly increase agricultural credit in the financial year 2019-20, having provided Rs 8,000 crore in the previous fiscal. Apart from this, approximately 14 lakh farmers have received kisan credit cards, the number of which will also see a rise in the upcoming financial year.