Rendered cash-strapped in the wake of demonetisation decision, 16,000 cooperative credit societies in Maharashtra that mainly serve farmers have decided to observe a token strike on December 1. These societies with two per cent of the state population as its members have not received sufficient cash supply from public sector banks to cater to their client base, mainly comprising the farming community.
“Credit societies are not getting new currency notes from the DCCBs (District Credit Cooperative Banks) or public sector banks. Hence, we cannot disburse cash to farmers in the form of their sanctioned loans,” said Vasant Shinde, Executive Chairman of Maharashtra State Federation Credit Cooperative Societies.
“It’s more than 15 days and the primary sector like credit society is largely neglected by the government. Hence, we have decided to organise a one-day token strike, as a warning to the government.”
The credit societies are dependent on DCCBs and public sector banks for crop loan and allied activities. It is the largest network of cooperative societies in the state in financial sector and 2.20 crore farmers are its members who get loans for kharif and rabi crops every year.
Following demonetisation, the Reserve Bank of India banned DCCBs from accepting and exchanging old scrapped notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000.
“The credit societies also have deposits worth Rs 27,000 crore in their branches. Our deposits are yet to be exchanged with new currency notes. We are restricted from doing our core business of lending, then how will these societies survive?” Shinde asked.