The process of District Cooperative Banks merger with UP Cooperative Bank (UPCB) under a common Umbrella has been visualised. UPCB will be brought on par with the Nationalised or Rural Banks with a healthy balance sheet, says Andra Vamsi, Additional Registrar (Banking), Cooperative Department, Government of Uttar Pradesh, in this interview with Arpit Gupta of Elets News Network (ENN). He talks at length about the different sectors of the Cooperative Banks and the technological deployment in the corporate banking sector of Uttar Pradesh.
What is the State Government vision for Uttar Pradesh Co-operative Bank?
The process of District Cooperative Banks merger with UP Cooperative Bank (UPCB) under a common Umbrella has been visualised. UPCB will be brought on par with the Nationalised or Rural Banks with a healthy balance sheet. Proposal for liquidating the worst performing banks is also taken into consideration. Right now, the talks were being conducted with all the participants say shareholders, employees and unions to get a proper merger proposal. Merger streamlines the command and control ensuring a unitary Banking Policy with DCB s functioning as Regional Branches of UPCB.
Would you like to tell us about the recent technology deployments in UCBs across the state? What challenges have you witnessed in terms of its implementation?
The State and District Co-operative Banks are computerised with Core Banking Solution (CBS). We are Implementing Delivery Channels line RTGS/NEFT, ATM Network, SMS Banking, Mobile Passbook and wallet, AEPS, DBT etc. All Prime Minister Benefit Schemes are live in the CBS branches. All the Primary Agriculture Societies (PACs) are being computerised. So far, the number is 1276. As many as 626 PACSs are linked to District Cooperative Bank (DCB’s) Core Banking System and exchanging Data in Real-Time. RuPay Debit and Kisan Credit Cards (KCC) are being distributed in all the Districts to enable Digital Transactions. Major challenge faced for the computerisation is to train the entire manpower. The inertia is to be contained.
What role is Information Technology playing in ensuring transparency within the Cooperative Banks of the state?
We are working to bring the RTGS, NEFT, Switch Technology and Cheque Truncation under a common banner. After each transaction in the banks, the data is automatically updated in the software through our aggregator.
How is it helping in the recovery of bad loans? What is the status of Financial Inclusion in Uttar Pradesh?
We have summarised the recoveries database Ameen wise. The top and worst performers are figured out using a centralised database at the Head Quarters. Say the 7,000 crore overall recoveries across the state also presented an Imbalance of 1,200 crore. The ultimate challenge is to weed out the worst performers which are beyond redemption. As many as five pilot banks had been identified to erase these imbalances on the lines of Satara and Raigarh Bank. The Modus Operandi is to freeze the Imbalance amount, not charge the interest further and recover the amount in 10 installments. The problem is to restructure the organisation with the absorption of contingency to regular employees which is ready for implementation. The best manpower is regularised out on the basis of their performance with respect to recoveries.
Financial Inclusion happens on its own with a robust Cooperative System. The process is simple to weed out the non performing loan takers and absorb the new loan takers with good credit ratings. Farmers are the primary base for whom the agri-loans are done through Cooperative & Recovery on the basis of their crop purchase. If this cycle is completed without any pilferages, then the Financial Inclusion happens on its own at the rural areas.
What are the objectives of PACs?
The primary objective of PACs is to cater to the farm credit and income generation activities of farmers, artisans and other members. PACs also aim to implement Kisan Credit Card (KCC)/Rupay KCC scheme for providing timely and adequate farm credit to members.
The PACs also aim to take up marketing of agricultural produce of member farmers and to create awareness among farmers to adopt improved farming practices.
Catering to the need of dispensing of various government sponsored citizens’ welfare services such as procurement of food grains, Public Distribution System etc. is another objective of the PACs.
The other objectives include business of selling fertilizer, seed, Pesticides etc. and dealing with other agriculture business such as supply of Agriculture Machinery to farmers etc.
What are your plans for 2019?
We have in pipeline 6,000 Micro ATMs sanction to all the PACS. We are also in the process of streamlining Rupay KCC with good percentage of distribution and activation.