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NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF ARDBS 2019 HELD ON 21ST NOVEMBER 2019 AT NEW DELHI

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The National Cooperative Agriculture & Rural Development Banks Federation organized the National Conference of ARDBs 2019 at New Delhi on 21st November 2019. The participants of the Conference consisted of State Cooperative Agriculture & Rural Development Banks as well as member State Cooperative Banks of the Federation, 114 PCARDBs from various States and representatives of NABARD, NCUI, NCDC, National Informatics Centre and various National Federations.

"Deepening of Internal Reforms for Enhancing the Role of ARDBs in Agriculture and Rural Credit" was the theme of the Conference.

The Conference was formally inaugurated by Shri Parshottam Rupala, Hon'ble Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare. The function was chaired by Dr Chandra Pal Singh, MP, President NCUI. Shri K. Sivadasan Nair, Chairman, NCARDBF welcomed the Guests and delegates to the Conference. Dignitaries at the Inaugural session included Shri Parbatbhai Patel, MP, Smt. Sarita Arora, Chief General Manager, NABARD, Head Office, Shri Balasubramanian Iyer, Regional Director, ICA-AP, Dr. Bijender Singh, Chairman, NAFED & Vice President, NCUI, Shri G.H. Amin, Chairman, COBI and Vice President, NCUI, Shri N. Satyanarayana, Chief Executive, NCUI, Shri P.V. Prabhu, Trustee Secretary, NIRB & Ex-CEO, NCARDBF, Shri Y.C. Nanda, Ex-Chairman, NABARD, Shri G.S. Mangat, Member, Punjab Revenue Commission, Vice Chairpersons Shri K. Shadakshari and Shri K. Ravinder Rao as well as Chairmen and Chief Executives of member banks of the Federation.

Three business sessions were held thereafter and presentations were made by the subject matter specialists/experts on the following subjects.

Business Session - I
  • "Enhancing the Share of ARDBs in Investment Credit".
  • Internal Reforms in LTCCS
  • NABARD's vision on the future of LTCCS

Business Session - II
  • HR Scenario in LTCCS
  • ARDBS as Farmer Producer Organisations
  • Rating and Risk Management in the context of LTCCS

Business Session - III
  • Sustainable Development and Agricultural Cooperatives
  • Computerisation in ARDBs
  • Resource Mobilisation and Business Diversification - Case Study of Buldana Urban

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NABARD's financial assistance for computerisation of ARDBs

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It is seen that ARDBs in most of the States have opted for NIC software and core banking solutions along with data centre and connectivity services provided by them. Further, the process of computerisation is in progress in most of the States while it is in the data migration stage after completion and testing in a few States. During the course of the meeting the Chairman and Managing Director, Federation had with Dr. Harsh Kumar Bhanwala, Chairman, NABARD on 18 th July 2019 the progress of computerisation of ARDBs was also discussed. The Chairman, NABARD promised financial assistance to SCARDBs for computerisation based on detailed project report for the same. All the SCARDBs have been requested to make use of this opportunity and submit detailed proposals to NABARD for financial assistance for computerisation along with detailed project report for the same.

Fixing rate of interest on loans in the context of restructuring of LTRCF refinance with longer repayment period

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Federation has issued guidelines for fixing rate of interest on loans in the context of restructuring of LTRCF refinance with a longer repayment of 9 years with concessional interest rate applicable to LTRCF refinance for the first 5 years. The Executive Committee of the Federation in its meeting on 5 August 2019 in New Delhi considered in detail the issue of fixing interest rates on loans in the context of restructuring of LTRCF refinance and decided to advise member banks as below.

(1) ARDBs should fix the rate of interest on all loans issued based on interest rates on normal refinance prevailing at the time of sanctioning of loans.

(2) Banks should keep a provision for refixing interest rates in loan agreement in respect of all loans to facilitate refixing of interest depending on subsequent changes in the rate of interest on corresponding refinance after sanctioning the loan.

(3) The additional margin available to the bank on account of concessional interest rate applicable to LTRCF refinance should be passed on to borrowers as interest rebate for prompt repayment.

(4) Since only farm sector loans are eligible for LTRCF refinance the interest rate rebate given out of additional interest margin in LTRCF refinance should also cover only farm sector loans.

(5) Since the rebate is given only to prompt repayers whose proportion is not high at present the additional interest margins available in LTRCF refinance at the present rate may be sufficient to give interest rebate @ 2% p.a. for prompt repayment of instalments falling during a year under all farm sector loans.

(6) In order to promote timely repayment, ARDBs should publicise the scheme of interest rebate and indicate the amount of rebate available, if instalments is paid on or before due date, prominently in the demand notice to loanees.

Long-term refinance policy for PCARDBs as Multi Service Centres (MSCs) through SCARDBs F.Y. 2019-20

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NABARD has since decided to provide long term refinance to SCARDBs for financing PCARDBs to undertake eligible activities as Multi Service Centres (MSCs) vide its circular dated 06 th August 2019. The Federation welcomes this initiative of NABARD in enabling the PCARDBs to undertake various activities in agriculture value chain for the benefit of member farmers apart from helping them to become self-sustainable entities. Funding support to PCARDBs through SCARDBs for this purpose will not only remove the hurdles faced by PCARDBs in availing direct loans from NABARD but also enable SCARDBs to extend much needed guidance and supervision to PCARDBs to undertake these activities. The Federation has also advised the SCARDBS to set up a separate Cell in their Hos for MSCs to assist PCARDBs to identify viable projects, to prepare detailed project reports (DPRs) and to obtain prior sanction of Regional Offices of NABARD for all such projects to be implemented during a year in one go.

Deposit Mobilisation by ARDBs Scheme for Deposit Mobilisation

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NABARD vide their circular dated 20 th August 2019 addressed to the Registrars of Cooperative Societies that RBI/ NABARD have been actively involved in providing guidance, support and financial assistance to the ARDBs over the years. However, in the wake of the-passing of the Banning Unregulated Deposit Schemes, Act, 2019, issued vide gazette notification dated 31 July 2019, the deposit schemes of ARDBs (which are Societies registered under the respective State Cooperative Acts), come under the regulatory authority of the State Governments. As the ARDBs are not covered under the B R Act, 1949 (AACS) and the State Government having been designated as the authority under the Act ibid, may lay down the guidelines for acceptance of deposits by ARDBs.

In view of the foregoing, the State Government/ RCS may draw up/ allow suitable deposit schemes for ARDBs, within the framework of the Acts applicable to ARDBs. NABARD will continue to provide guidance and support to these institutions in improving their functioning as hitherto.

Based on the above, the Federation has advised all the SCARDBs to initiate appropriate action, wherever considered necessary.

Updation of Data base of PCARDBs by the Federation

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The NCARDB Federation has since taken up the updation of Data base of PCARDBs with the support of all the SCARDBs.

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