“Loan is assured to an entrepreneur with a bankable idea”
The National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC), established by an Act of Parliament in 1962, has recently been brought under the purview of the newly-formed Ministry of Cooperation. It has thus far engaged with over 1.5 lakh cooperatives across the country. NCDC’s Managing Director, Mr Sundeep Kumar Nayak, an IAS officer from the 1988 batch of the J&K cadre, spoke with Editor and Publisher Sayantan Chakravarty on a range of issues
Pictures by: Sipra Das
The National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) is now under the aegis of the Ministry of Cooperation formed in July 2021. This should bring about a new impetus in the ongoing cooperative movement in the country. Can you throw some light on this please?
Without doubt, the Ministry of Cooperation has really energized the cooperative sector. The entire sector including the primary cooperatives, district and state-level federations, national-level federation, is excited by the new Ministry, and also with the new Hon’ble Union Minister Shri Amit Shah ji. The Hon’ble Minister has a very long experience with cooperatives in Gujarat, so he understands the cooperative sector extremely well. We at the NCDC firmly believe that the cooperative sector will now get its due share.
Having helmed NCDC for many years, what is your own longer term vision for this prestigious organization?
Our long-term vision is to engage with each and every cooperative in the country. There are about 8.5 lakh cooperatives of different sizes and nature. Most of them are covered by the state acts, but there are those under the central acts as well. Thus far we’ve been able to engage with 1.5 lakh cooperatives. Essentially, engaging means extending loans, but there is, of course, another kind of engagement that we have, which is nurturing the cooperatives. That is part of our promotional and developmental role. In the new set up during the last two years we’ve reached out to over 12,000 cooperatives. Our employees have gone out and visited their premises. This has been part of our outreach, particularly when it comes to primary cooperatives. Our long term vision also includes reaching out to more cooperatives. Loan is secondary—the first and foremost purpose is to understand their requirements.
How is the NCDC supporting and aiding new and emerging entrepreneurs in the field of cooperatives?
In sharp contrast to earlier times when we had mainly plain loan products to offer, now we have a bouquet of products. We are more targeted towards groups of borrowers, and cooperatives. We are aggressively looking at youth entrepreneurs with a product called the Yuva Sahakar. Any young cooperative, even as nascent as three months that comes up with innovative business ideas, can avail loans from us up to Rs 1 crore. If the cooperative is between one and three years old, then it can take a loan of up to Rs 3 crore. Beyond that age limit, they can borrow any amount. We’ve not put a limit to it. But the primary condition is that the cooperative must have a viable business proposal. Youth is definitely the focus—under Yuva Sahakar we’ve a cooperative startup programme for which we’ve created an INR 1,000 crore fund. If there are cooperatives that have women or persons with disability, they can avail a better rate of interest under the interest subvention schemes.
We have a pan-India presence and cater to all the states in the country through 18 regional offices and a central academy. Our loan products are dovetailed with different Government of India schemes. If there is a subsidy or incentive, it gets dovetailed. Apart from giving pure loans, we support capacity building. We have 18 training centres, as well as the central academy. So at these 19 places, cooperatives get capacity development support. They also receive project advice and support for project formulation. So it is not just pure loans, it is also training, capacity building, exposure visits, that we fund.