Finance Minister Janardan Sharma has urged saving and credit cooperatives to invest 60 per cent of their fund in productive sectors.

In his address to a ceremony organised to mark the 34th establishment day of Nepal Federation of Savings and Credit Cooperative Unions Ltd here today, he called for more investment from cooperatives in the productive areas.

As he said, investment in housing, land or in the purchase of automobiles would not yield expected results. Stating that he had a plan for converting the consumerism-based economy to a productive one, the finance minister appealed to cooperatives for help towards this end.

"If you are facing issues, I am ready to cooperate in finding a solution. But I urge you all to invest at least 60 per cent of the investment in the productive sector and contribute to alleviate poverty.'' The minister said he had heard that cooperatives were charging up to 18 per cent interest on loans to the poor and stressed the need to reduce it. "We have cases in which some cooperatives have ruined the lives of people by cheating them of their savings and urged the NEFSCUN to be serious towards the possibility of recurrence of such cases."

He further expressed the view that NEFSCUN would play a role to prevent the misappropriation of the people's savings by the founders of the cooperatives.

The finance minister expressed his concern over the fact that stabilisation fund was yet to be set up, and directing for its establishment within a month and to apprise him of it.

Over 7,000 savings and credit cooperatives are associated with the NEFS- CUN.

A version of this article appears in the print on August 17 2021, of The Himalayan Times.