In eight-nine months, the government will be able to draw up an updated cooperative policy, Union Home and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah said on Tuesday at the National Conference on Cooperative Policy in New Delhi.
Giving details of the new policy, Shah said, “The new policy will look at free registration, transparency, coordination among cooperatives and strive to bring equality through dialogue…It will explore new dimensions, reaching every village, creating credit society, doubling farmers’ income and make cooperative institutions financially strong.”
Shah said July 6, 2021 was an important day for the cooperative sector of India, as for the first time under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the government established the Ministry of Cooperation, a long-pending demand of people associated with this sector.
“Cooperatives have played a huge role in creating an economic model for rural development and providing employment to the poor, so that they can live a life of dignity. Each village in developed states should have Primary Agricultural Credit Society (PACS), milk cooperative market, credit society or cooperative bank…There should not be any area where the cooperative has not reached," said the minister.
He added that doing so would ensure that “in the coming 20-25 years, the cooperative sector reaches new heights”. “Equitable distribution of profits can be done only by the cooperatives, where the entire profit goes to stakeholders and the expenditure on management is minimal…For a large section of the country which is economically backward, cooperative is the only model that can make 80 crore people financially prosperous. We have to prepare the cooperative movement for the challenges of today’s times, remove stagnation, bring in changes and transparency to win the trust of small farmers.”
The minister praised various models such as Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative (IFFCO) and Amul, which have kept the spirit of cooperative intact while taking the corporate governance way.
Defining TEAM, Shah said, “New dimensions and areas can be connected only with the spirit of TEAM, which stands for Transparency, Empowerment, Atmanirbhar and Modernisation."
There are about 8,55,000 cooperatives of which 1,77,000 are credit societies, 700,000 are cooperative societies, 17 national-level cooperative unions and 33 state cooperative banks. There are more than 63,000 active PACS with more than 12 crore members. Around 91% of the villages have cooperatives.