Inaugurating the National Urban Cooperative Finance and Development Corporation Limited (NUCFDC), the apex body of Urban Cooperative Banks (UCBs), Cooperation Minister Amit Shah on Saturday said that the parameter of development cannot be just numbers, it should be judged through a significant parameter of how many people participate in the country’s development.

Addressing a gathering to mark the launch of the apex body, Shah said that unless the strength to promote cooperation and mutual progress among cooperative institutions is provided, it cannot move forward. He mentioned that after nearly 20 years of struggle, NUCFDC is formed now. He said that several reports, including the Vishwanathan Committee, had recommended an umbrella body for UCBs.

The minister suggested the Board of the newly launched NUCFDC to set up one urban cooperative bank in each unrepresented town/city in a time-bound program. He also said UCBs should upgrade themselves to provide ATM facility, credit/debit cards, clearing system, maintain SLR (statutory liquidity ratio) limit and refinancing, similar to what public and private banks are offering.

NUCFDC has received RBI’s approval to function as a non-banking finance company and a self-regulatory organisation for the urban cooperative banking sector.

After launching NUCFDC, Shah said, “After 20 years, NUCFDC has been established. This is the need of the hour. I am happy the RBI has given approval for this.” The minister said he felt the absence of an umbrella organisation when he had an opportunity to work with National Federation of Urban Cooperative Banks and Credit Societies (NAFCUB) when there was a crisis in Gujarat.

The main objective of NUCFDC should be to help urban cooperative banks adhere to the Banking Regulations Act and bring professionalism in their work, he said. There are more than 1,500 UCBs with 11,000 branches, having a deposit of ₹5 lakh crore and credit base of ₹3.50 lakh crore across the country, he added. He said that though UCBs have reduced their net NPA rate to 2.10 per cent, still there is scope for further reduction.

The minister said NUCFDC should achieve its target paid-up capital within a year and not depend on others. National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) has committed ₹200 crore to it. If the paid-up capital is met by UCBs, then only the RBI will have confidence in them, he said.