Union Home and Cooperative Minister Amit Shah on Thursday appealed to the States and the Union Territories (UTs) to take forward the cooperative movement in the spirit of team India. “We will have to play the role of a team in India for the development of cooperatives. Different states will have to come forward in the role of a trustee for the development of cooperatives,” Shah said while addressing the inaugural session of the two-day National Conference of State Cooperation Ministers organised here in the national capital. Noting that cooperative is not a new concept, Shah said, “If we want to take forward the cooperative movement, we will have to follow one direction and one policy.”
Shah focused on the equal presence of cooperatives in every state and UT, and for this, he said a “new cooperation policy will be needed.” The existing National Policy on Cooperatives was formulated in 2002 with the objectives of facilitating the all-round development of cooperatives and providing necessary support, encouragement, and assistance to them, so as to ensure that cooperatives work as autonomous, self-reliant, and democratically managed institutions accountable to their members and make a significant contribution to the national economy. The Cooperation Minister also stressed the need to strengthen primary agricultural credit societies (PACS) for a robust cooperative movement. “By strengthening the PACS, we will be able to strengthen the cooperative movement more,” said Shah while addressing the gathering that included 21 Ministers of different states and two Lieutenant Governors of Ladakh and Chandigarh.
The Home Minister also emphasised the need to make PACS multipurpose and said, “We have identified those Panchayats where there are no PACS”. “We (states and UTs) will have to work to ensure that each and every panchayat has at least one PACS.” The Minister also stressed the need to liquidate the PACS which are defunct and make new PACS. The conference will provide a platform to formulate an implementable policy and planning framework through discussion and coordination among participants on important themes, covering not only the whole life cycle of cooperatives but also touching on all facets of their business and governance, a senior official said.
The Union Minister of State for Cooperation, B.L. Verma, and Cooperation Ministers, Additional Chief Secretaries, Principal Secretaries, Cooperative Registrars, and representatives of all 36 state governments and Union Territories of the country participate in the conference. The conference will cover policy matters like the National Cooperation Policy and National Cooperative Database as well as newly proposed schemes like PACS in every Panchayat, export of agro-based and other products, promotion and marketing of organic products, and expansion of co-operatives to new areas. Besides, issues related to PACS and model bye-laws, PACS computerization, action plans for the revitalization of defunct PACS, model bye-laws of PACS, and bringing uniformity in State Cooperative Laws will also be part of the discussion at the conference.
The conference will also discuss matters linked to primary co-operative societies, prioritise long-term financing, milk co-operative societies, and fish co-operative societies. As per the Ministry, the moves are being taken as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is committed to bringing about a positive change in the lives of people associated with cooperatives through his vision of ‘Sahakar Se Samriddhi’. To realize this vision, the Ministry of Cooperation was formed on July 6, 2021, under the visionary leadership of PM Modi.Under the leadership of the Union Home and Cooperation Minister, the Cooperation Ministry is continuously working on giving a new impetus to the development of the cooperative sector, strengthening it and making it a model of all-inclusive development, said an official.