Union minister Amit Shah on Thursday urged urban cooperative banks not to consider the Banking Regulation Act as a hurdle, but as an opportunity to grow and become competitive in the banking sector.
The future belongs to the cooperative sector and the urban cooperative banks (UCBs) have a key role in empowering 60 crore people who aspire to contribute to the country's economy, he said.
"It was said that the BR Act is like a double sword for UCBs. I want to state clearly that the BR act will only protect us and you need to believe me," Shah said, addressing an felicitation event organised by the National Federation of Urban Cooperative Bank and Credit Societies (NAFCUB) here.
The Cooperation Minister asked UCBs not to see the BR act as regulation but as a ray of light that will help the cooperative banking sector develop at par with private banks.
To become competitive, Shah said UCBs should change with time and bring professionalism, transparency and meet financial parameters, etc.
"Without this, we cannot be in the competition... We have no choice but to change and prepare ourselves for competition, else we will waste time. No government will save us," he warned.
An umbrella organisation of the UCB sector which is being set up, will play a significant role, he added.
Shah also shared that he has asked the RBI governor to treat UCBs with credibility in order to launch the concept of UCB across the country.
He mentioned that other concerns raised by NAFCUB related to UCBs will be taken up with the RBI governor soon.
"More measures will be announced soon for UCBs," he said.
Stating that the UCBs have a huge opportunity to expand their business, Shah said, "You should take advantage of the opportunity else we cannot change the perception that cooperative banking is a dying sector."
NAFCUB President Jyotindra Mehta said the RBI's recent approval for formation of a national umbrella organisation for the UCB sector in India is a landmark development and a great opportunity for India's 1,514 UCBs.
NAFCUB facilitated the minister for the landmark decisions taken in favour of UCBs