Cooperatives hold Rs 163b in deposits

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Aug 29, 2014-

Cooperatives held 11 percent of deposits collected by A, B and C class bank and financial institutions (BFIs) in last fiscal year, down from 12.76 percent in 2012-13. Deposits held by all A, B and C class BFIs amounted to Rs 1,468 billion as of the last fiscal, while cooperatives had Rs 163 billion. Deposit mobilisation of commercial banks stood at Rs 1,196 billion.

The growth rate of cooperatives’ deposit mobilisation also fell to 5.59 percent in 2013-14 from the previous fiscal’s 13.66 percent. According to the Department of Cooperatives (DEoC), cooperatives’ deposits increased to Rs 163 billion last year from Rs 158 billion in the previous year.

DEoC officials say increased scrutiny after funds misappropriation allegations and troubles faced by several cooperatives discouraged people to deposit their money in them. Bishnu Prasad Ghimire, under-secretary at the department, said problems seen in several savings and credit cooperatives helped increase public awareness about safety of their money. “People are now more attracted towards agriculture cooperatives,” he said.

Last year, 1,645 new cooperatives received operating licence, taking the total number to 31,177. Ghimire said most of the new cooperatives are related to the agriculture business. “At a time when savings and credit cooperatives are falling, many people, mainly those from out of the valley, are attracted towards agriculture cooperatives,” said Ghimire, adding the government’s priority to agriculture-based cooperative also played a crucial role.

According to DEoC, the new cooperatives were mainly registered in Tarai districts like Rautahat, Bara, Jhapa, Morang and Siraha. These cooperatives have lent Rs 159 billion, up by Rs 25.18 billion, over the review period.

Pashupati Prasad Ghimire, an officer at the Division Cooperative Office, Kathmandu, said a large number of cooperatives are investing in small and microenterprises and agricultural business. “Unlike in the past when they used to concentrate more on the realty business, they have now diverted their investment towards these areas,” he said.

Published: 30-08-2014 09:27

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