Investments by co-ops in Kaski reach Rs 9.85b

- LAL PRASAD SHARMA, Pokhara

Aug 12, 2014-

Cooperatives invested Rs 9.85 billion in various sectors here in the last fiscal year posting a 74.33 percent jump over the previous fiscal, said the District Cooperatives Division Office (DCDO), Kaski. Investments in the previous fiscal amounted to Rs 5.65 billion.

According to the DCDO, cooperatives collected deposits amounting to Rs 9.38 billion. Most of them are reported to have invested in the realty sector, hire purchase and other businesses.

Narayan Prasad Aryal, chief of the DCDO, said the cooperatives had been pumping large amounts into the housing business despite claims that they have been putting their money in different sectors.

“As the cooperatives are not allowed to invest more than 25 percent of their total investments in the realty business, they have been doing it by disguising their investments under different headings.”

Aryal said that such a huge turnover was normal in Pokhara due to its growing population, industrial growth and tourist destination.

He said that there was a need to divert their investment portfolio into productive sectors. “There are a few small cooperatives investing in the productive sector, but their capital is nominal,” he said.

No major problems have been seen in the cooperative sector in Pokhara till date, but they are at a possible risk zone as a number of them have been breaching the cooperatives standard, Aryal said.

“Most of the cooperatives have been found conducting transactions with non-members, while some have been providing loans without collateral,” Aryal said, adding that this had put most of the cooperatives at a risk zone.

However, Prabha Koirala, president of the Kaski District Cooperatives Association, said the cooperatives had been doing good business in the region and that they were on the right track. “The cooperatives here have mostly invested in the agriculture sector in recent times, and no problems have been seen in loan recovery.”

Out of the 563 cooperatives in Kaski, 336 are savings and credit cooperatives.

Likewise, 116 are agriculture, fruits and small farmers, 31 consumers and 23 are dairy cooperatives.

These cooperatives have Rs 2.75 billion in share capital and Rs 291.7 million in reserve funds. The have 163,985 members.

Meanwhile, the Cooperatives Division has scrapped the licences of five cooperatives that have been dormant for a long time.

The cooperatives that lost their operating licences are Sathi Savings and Credit Cooperative, Srijanshil Mahila Krishi, Rupa Consumer Cooperative, Seti Consumer Cooperative and Himalaya Community Savings and Credit Cooperative.

Published: 13-08-2014 10:24

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