Punjab's Cooperation Department May 29 inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Indian Oil Corporation under which the company will open its retail outlets on empty spaces available with cooperative institutions. The decision will help farmers get petrol, diesel, seeds and fertilisers closer to their doorstep.
The MoU was signed here in the presence of Cooperation Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and Additional Chief Secretary (Cooperation), Punjab, Viswajeet Khanna, an official release said.
"Under the MoU, the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) would open its retail outlets on the empty spaces of the cooperative sector institutions," it said.
These outlets would also double up as Kisan Sewa Kendras for farmers where they would get fertilizers, seeds and agricultural implements, it said.
Speaking on the occasion, Randhawa said that IOC would open its outlets or petrol pumps on empty spaces of Markfed, Milkfed, Sugarfed and the rural cooperative societies.
"This would not only result in the appropriate usage of the land but also see the improvement of the financial situation of the cooperative institutions thereby generating more avenues of employment," he said.
This initiative would lead to farmers getting petrol and diesel on credit for which the latter would pay after harvesting crops.
Besides, the farmers will not have to travel far for fetching petrol or diesel, he said.
The capital investment for setting up these outlets will be done by IOC.
"The IOC would also set up food courts and departmental stores at these outlets for the sale of products manufactured by Markfed, Milkfed and Sugarfed in accordance with the capability of the location. This would pave the way for financial benefits to the cooperative institutions apart from providing top quality products at affordable prices to the people," he said.
The initiative would benefit the farmers, apart from making cooperative societies self-dependent from financial point of view, Khanna said.
He said the outlets would be opened at 15 places in Punjab in the first phase.
This step would go a long way in generating direct and indirect avenues of employment, he said.
The MoU was inked on behalf of the IOC by its General Manager (Retail Sales) Amrindera Kumar and on behalf of the Cooperation Department by Registrar, Cooperative Societies, Punjab, Vikas Garg, the release said.