Mumbai-headquartered Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd on Tuesday rolled out a financial inclusion programme for 75 milk co-operatives of Amul in the Burdwan and Hooghly districts of West Bengal. The programme called ‘Kotak Samriddhi’, will help ensure farmers getting paid for their daily produce through direct transfer of money on the same day. At present, it takes three days for farmers to get paid for their produce.

Amul is a brand owned by Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd.

“Approximately, 8,000 farmers supplying milk to Amul through these cooperatives will benefit through the programme,” Tushar Trivedi, Executive Vice-President, Kotak Mahindra Bank, said.

Kotak has tied up with the National Payment Corporation of India for using their RuPay platform for issuing pre-paid cards.

Farmers need not necessarily have a bank account with Kotak Mahindra to obtain payments. However, co-operative societies need to have accounts with the bank.

Replicating the mode Kotak, which began the pilot project on financial inclusion in the State, will now roll out a similar scheme for Amul in Gujarat in the next two months.

Over three lakh dairy farmers across 1,200 co-operative societies in the Gujarat will be part of the programme.

“In Gujarat, roll-out will happen in a phased manner,” Trivedi said. Kotak is also talking to other co-operative societies in Haryana and Punjab for extending the initiative to wheat and paddy.

Talks are, however, in a nascent stage.

>abhishek.l@thehindu.co.in

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