The Union home and cooperation minister Amit Shah has announced the constitution of a “national level committee for drafting of the national cooperation policy document”, an official statement said.
Shah has earlier announced that the government would bring out a new co-operation policy to strengthen the cooperative movement in the country.
“The new National Cooperative Policy is being formulated to realise the vision of ‘Sahakar Se Samriddhi‘,” the cooperation ministry said.
The national level committee under the chairmanship of former Union Cabinet minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu consists of 47 members from all parts of the country.
The committee should submit the final draft within three months from the date of its first meeting.
The other members in the panel include Umakant Dash, Director, Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA); H K Mishra, Professor, Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA); Sukhpal Singh, Professor, IIM Ahmedabad; Satish Marathe, Director, RBI Central Board; Y Dongre, Vice Chancellor, Chanakya University, Karnataka; D Krishna, Ex. CEO, National Federation of Urban Cooperative Banks and Credit Societies (NAFCUB); C Pichai, Professor and Chief, Cooperative Department, Gandhigram Rural Institute, Tamil Nadu; Sanjeev Kumar Chadda, Ex. MD, NAFED; Dileep Sanghani, President, NCUI & Chairman, IFFCO; Jyotindra Mehta, Chairman, NAFCUB; Manoj Kumar Semwal, MD, National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation (NCCF); K K Ravindran, MD, National Cooperative Agriculture and Rural Development Banks’ Federation Ltd. (NAFCARD); Ranjan Chowdhry, MD, KRIBHCO; Konduru Ravinder Rao, Chairman, National Federation of State Co-operative Banks Ltd (NAFSCOB); Prakash Naiknavare, MD, National Federation of Co-operative Sugar Factories Ltd (NFCSF); and R S Sodhi, MD, Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd (GCMMF).
The committee comprises experts of the cooperative sector; representatives of national/state/district and primary cooperative societies; secretaries (cooperation) and registrars of cooperative societies of states/UTs; and officers from central ministries / departments.
The country at present has around 8.5 lakh cooperative societies with a member base of around 29 crore. These cooperatives are engaged in varied activities like agro-processing, dairying, fisheries, housing, weaving, credit and marketing, among others.
The new document is being formulated with a view to fulfilling the mandate given to the new ministry of cooperation, which includes realising the vision of ‘Sahakar se Samriddhi’; strengthening cooperative movement in the country and deepening its reach up to the grassroots; and promoting cooperative-based economic development model.
“The new policy will go a long way in strengthening the co-operative movement in the country,” the statement said.
The existing National Policy on Cooperatives was formulated in 2002 for all-round development of cooperatives.
It also envisaged providing necessary support, encouragement and assistance to cooperatives to ensure that they work as autonomous, self-reliant and democratically managed institutions accountable to their members and make a significant contribution to the national economy.
The ministry of cooperation is taking various measures to promote cooperative movement.
In June, the Centre decided to computerise all functional 63,000 Primary Agriculture Credit Societies (PACS) over the next five years with a budget outlay of Rs 2,516 crore in order to improve efficiency, transparency and accountability in their operations.
The scheme, approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), would also facilitate PACS to diversify their business and undertake multiple activities and services.