Share Capital to Weaker Section – Universal Membership Scheme

Government of West Bengal
Co-operation Department
Writers’ Building Kolkata-700001.

No. 2215-Coop/D/1M-1/2009 Dated: Kolkata, the 9th May, 2012.


WHEREAS, a scheme under the name of ‘Universal Membership’ was initiated in the State of West Bengal in the year 1977 with a view to giving relief to the weaker section of people including small and marginal farmers having land up to 2.5 acres, bargadars, patta-holders, landless & agricultural labourers, share croppers, oral lessees and poor rural artisans by providing them with Share Capital Grant with a sum of Rs. 10/- only per new member to enable him/her to become member of Primary Agricultural Credit Societies. Farmer’s Service Co-operative Societies, LAMPS etc. so that they can meet their requirements for production of crops, purchase of goods for trade and ancillary occupational schemes like goatery, poultry as well as exigencies particularly in loan season;

AND WHEREAS, preference was given to areas where there are huge concentration of persons belonging to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes community;

AND WHEREAS, the Share Capital Grant was provided to the PACS etc. for onward transmission of the same to the ultimate beneficiaries for purchase of shares of equivalent amounts in the PACS, provided that the total Paid -up Share Capital, after infusion of the assistance, does not surpass the Authorised Share Capital of the PACS as per its bye laws;

AND WHEREAS, the amount of assistance per eligible candidate;as stated above, was subsequently considered too inadequate, the same was enhanced to Rs. 50/- only in the year 1983-84;

AND WHEREAS, a revised guide line G.O. of the scheme was issued by this Department vide its Memo No. 161-Coop /CO/O/F/8P-09/2009, dated: 14.01.2012 with the concurrence of the Finance Department of this Government;

AND WHEREAS, the eligible members under the scheme can at present avail loans twenty times of the paid up share capital held by him/her i.e, upto Rs. 1000/- only which is considered to be quite insufficient to meet their credit need as far as money value in the current scenario is concerned;

AND WHEREAS, the state Government in this Deptt. has received proposals from different quarters regarding further enhancement of the aforesaid Share Capital Grant subscription from Rs. 50/- only to Rs. 250/- only per eligible member, envisaging a reasonable loan provision upto Rs. 5000/- only;

AND WHEREAS, the Finance Department of this Government has given their concurrence in the matter vide their U.O. No. 3367, Gr. A-I, dated: 12.03.2012 subject to availability of fund under relevant head of account in current year’s budget provision;

AND WHEREAS, the Governor is of the opinion that funding required under the scheme is not large and overall implication of enhancement may not be too much. And at the same time this would ensure financial inclusion of weaker section of people in the rural areas;

NOW THEREFORE, in the interest of Co-operative movement in the State in general and in the interest of the new as well as existing members of Primary Agricultural Credit Societies, Farmer’s Service Co-operative Societies, LAMPS etc. in particular, the Governor is hereby pleased to accord enhancement of the amount of Share Capital Grant per eligible member from Rs. 50/- only to Rs. 250/- only under the Universal Membership Scheme until further orders.

Apart from the said modification, the scheme will be governed by the revised guideline, as contained in the G.O. No. 161-Coop/CO/O/F/8P-09/2009, dated: 14.01.2012,as stated herein before.

This order will take immediate effect.

By order of the Governor,

Sd/- G. Bhattacharya
Joint Secretary to the
Government of West Bengal

No. 2215-Coop dated 09.05.2012