Cooperatives in India can lead the world: ICA President Dr Ariel Guarco at NCDC
Resilience shown by cooperatives across the world during the Covid-19 has demonstrated that it is through cooperation and not competition that we can move forward to achieve economic growth, social solidarity and sustainability, said Dr Ariel Guarco, President of ICA, during his second visit to the NCDC headquarters in New Delhi.
Resilience shown by cooperatives across the world during the Covid-19 has demonstrated that it is through cooperation and not competition that we can move forward to achieve economic growth, social solidarity and sustainability, said Dr Ariel Guarco, President of International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) on September 27.
He said this during his second visit to the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) headquarters in New Delhi.
“This crisis of Covid-19 has shown that we need to cooperate and work towards a new world where there is gender equality, peace and growth,” Guarco said while praising the efforts of the cooperatives in India which he asserted have been an instrument of change over the years.
“And they have a lot to show in future to lead the world,” said the ICA President, who during his visit to India had also met the new Minister of Cooperation, Amit Shah, recently.
Guarco said that the opening up of the Ministry exclusively for cooperatives also opens up new opportunities and possibilities for the sector which has tremendous potential to secure the society during a crisis like the Covid-19 pandemic.
Asserting that the governments should promote cooperatives, Guarco, who is himself a corporator from Argentina, assured all help to the cooperative sector in India through the global alliance. The cooperative movement is made up of over 3 million cooperatives with a total membership of approximately 1 billion people worldwide from all sectors and regions.
Welcoming the ICA President, who is on India’s visit for the second time, Sundeep Kumar Nayak, Managing Director, NCDC, said that the Ministry was looking towards ICA’s support in three areas, including assistance in setting up a centre on global best practices in cooperatives in India, boosting cooperative-to-cooperative (C2C) exports and a special session for new cooperatives at the world cooperative meet to be held a few months later in Seoul.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Chandra Pal Singh, President, Krishak Bharati Cooperative Limited, (KRIBHCO) said, with the formation of the new Ministry, the government is keen to work on Sahakar se Samriddhi (prosperity through cooperation), and NCDC by providing loan is helping in the development of the cooperatives and hence the poor people and farmers at the last mile. He expressed hope that with the establishment of the new Ministry, cooperatives will gain new heights.
Echoing similar views, Dileep Sanghani, President, National Cooperative Union of India (NCUI), said that Ministry formation will help strengthen the cooperatives across the country, even as he was in full praise of the NCDC MD’s efforts in promoting the cooperatives as a corporator himself. Sanghani too felt that the youths of the country need to be encouraged to see co-operative as a futuristic model of growth and prosperity.
“Cooperative should be taken up as a movement so that local people are economically empowered to attain the dream of Atmanirbhar Bharat,” he added.
Jyotindra M Mehta, President, The National Federation of Urban Cooperative Banks and Credit Societies Ltd (NAFCUB), touched upon tax-related issues in the sector in India and was keen to know the benefits and disadvantages faced by them because of levying of taxes.
Nayak later shared with the ICA President details about the functioning of the Corporation and that how various schemes launched by the NDA Government in the past few years aim to put cooperatives on the centre stage in making India a USD 5 trillion economy. NCDC has recently taken many other initiatives such as Yuva Sahakar, Sahakar Mitra, Ayushman Sahakar, Sahakar Pragya etc. to address the needs of cooperatives operating in various sectors.
He also shared that cooperative organizations were functioning in about 91 per cent of the villages in the country. There are more than eight-and-a-half lakh credit cooperatives while the number of non-lending cooperatives is more than 60 lakh. Also, there are more than 17 national-level cooperative unions, 33 state-level cooperative banks while the number of district-level cooperative banks is 363.