The history of Co-operative movement in Andaman & Nicobar Islands dates back to the year 1926 in the Islands when Cooperative Societies Rules were framed under the Co-operative Societies Act, 1912.The concept of agriculture Cooperative credit gained momentum by the arrival of settlers in 1950s under various colonization schemes of Govt. of India and organization of Primary Agriculture Credit Societies (PACS) in various settlement areas involving revenue villages. The impetus to the agriculture credit structure was given by converting a large sized PACS in South Andaman, Andaman & Nicobar State Cooperative Bank Ltd.In January, 1965 in turn to which 28 PACS and 31 other Co-operative organizations were affiliated.
The primary objective of these societies at the time of formation was to promote thrift and credit among members through various means existing during the formative years. As the time passed and with various developments in the activities of the Co-operative sector at the national level, the objectives of these PACS were enlarged by adopting amendment of bye-laws of the PACS periodically.
The credit absorption capacity of the PACS remained sluggish and disproportionate with the area under cultivation, no. of farmers etc. It is a matter of satisfaction for the Cooperative sector that the Andaman & Nicobar State Cooperative Bank Ltd. has positioned itself at second after SBI in respect of deposits and first in advances.
The Andaman & Nicobar State Cooperative Bank Ltd. is the apex Bank of two tier cooperative credit structure with PACS at grass root level in the Union Territory of Andaman & Nicobar Islands. The Bank’s operational area extend to the entire Union Territory of Andaman & Nicobar Islands through its 29 branches located right from Diglipur at extreme north to Campbell Bay the extreme south of Union Territory of Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Out of 29 branches, four branches are working in Nicobar District i.e. Car-Nicobar, Katchal, Teressa and Campbell Bay where the Bank is providing services to one and all including ex-servicemen settlers. In Andaman district the Bank has 25 branches, out of which, 21 branches are located in rural area and 4 are in urban area.
The Bank with a meagre deposit of Rs. 85,000 in the year 1965-66, mobilized a deposit of Rs. 285 crores and advances at Rs. 108 crores as on 29.02.2008. The Andaman & Nicobar State Cooperative Bank Ltd. is providing timely and adequate credit to the farmers through PACS and other cooperatives. Initially the Bank restricted its activities to short term lending, The Bank has since then extending useful service to the people of Island by extending credit to agriculturist, small scale industries, artisans, retail traders, BPL families and urban consumers. The Andaman & Nicobar State Co-operative Bank plays a unique and vital role in all the areas of cooperative Banking – agriculture, land development and urban Banking activities.
The Andaman & Nicobar State Cooperative Bank Ltd. has been pioneer in extending many facilities to its customers and has computerized its counter services in 1992. The Bank has also installed ATM at Port Blair with ICICI Bank tie up.
The Andaman & Nicobar State Cooperative Bank Ltd. provides financial assistance to cooperative societies / individuals to take up various farming and non-farming activities under its various loans schemes such as : Short Term loans to agriculturists through affiliated PACS for Seasonal Agricultural Operations (SAO) in Kharif & Rabi season, overdraft facilities to business communities , Medium Term loans to agriculturists through affiliated PACS for some selective purposes like – Land Reclamation, purchase of Agriculture Implements, Farm House Constructions. The Long Term loans are provided to agriculturists through affiliated PACS for various plantation crops which are suitable in the agro climatic condition of Andaman & Nicobar Islands and allied activities. The term loan for manufacturing / processing unit, purchase and operation of passenger-cum-goods vehicles, running of small business, establishment of various servicing units like – Pathology labs, X-ray units, STD booths etc.
Apart from this, the Bank is providing loan for construction / purchase of residential house, loans for higher education to young talented students of the island and loans for construction of Commercial Complexes.
The Andaman & Nicobar State Cooperative Bank Ltd. introduced “Krishi Card Scheme” during the year 1996, exclusively for the farmers of Union Territory for providing them instant credit. The same has been modified with the introduction of Kisan Credit Card Scheme by the Govt. of India in the year 1998 and the scheme is now known as “Kisan Credit Card” (KCC). The Bank has provided 3150 cards to the eligible members of affiliated PACS.
The Bank has been pioneer in promoting and linking Self Help Group. The Bank has linked 435 Self Help Groups by extending a
total loan of Rs. 237.00 Lakhs. Out of which 379 are women groups, 25 are mixed groups and 31 are men groups. The saving linked Self Help Groups with the Bank as on date is 1775.
The Andaman & Nicobar Islands have been affected with severe earthquake and tsunami on 26.12.2004, and damaged many of the Islands, particularly in the Southern groups, the devastation was on an unimaginable scale with huge loss of life and properties. The devastating Tsunami has totally destroyed the economy of these islands. It has affected all sectors directly or indirectly. All the infrastructure available in the Southern groups of islands – Campbell Bay, Katchal, Teressa, Car- Nicobar , Little Andaman, were completely destroyed including the business establishments.
Tourism, which is the mainstay of the islands, has been badly hit. The earthquake and Tsunami have struck the islands at a time and period of the year, when the tourist inflow stay the highest. A sizable portion of cultivable land, which was the only source of livelihood for many farmers have been submerged in the sea water or have become unsuitable for cultivation.
The Andaman & Nicobar State Cooperative Bank Ltd. is having 29 branches in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands .Out of which 05 nos. branches are in Nicobar District which were affected badly due to tsunami and earthquake of 26.12.04. The Bank took immediate steps for restoration of services of those branches within a few days of the calamity so as to provide timely and much needed help to the tribal people of car Nicobar district presently all the branches of the bank are functioning in all Islands, rendering yeoman services to the people of A & N Islands.
The Andaman & Nicobar State Cooperative Bank Ltd. have been granted a licence by the Reserve Bank of India to carry on Banking business in India.