Two-day National Conference on Cooperation Policy concludes; Cooperation Minister says states to have their own laws on cooperatives
Minister of cooperation Amit Shah said on the occasion that states had the right to have their own law on cooperatives and the Centre did not intend to interfere in their functioning. However, the Centre aims to bring uniformity in state laws through dialogue and coordination.
A two-day National Conference on Cooperation Policy was organized by the newly formed Ministry of Cooperation in New Delhi on 12-13 April 2022. It was structured into six important thematic sessions. Issues pertaining to cooperatives like present legal framework, operational barriers and measures required for their removal, access to capital, diversification of activities and inclusion of women, youth and weaker sections were discussed.
The conference was inaugurated by Home and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah. Minister of State for Cooperation BL Varma also graced the occasion with his presence.
A new Ministry of Cooperation had been carved out on 6 July 2021 with the objective to provide renewed impetus to the growth of the cooperative sector and realization of the vision of going from Cooperation to Prosperity.
Amit Shah said on the occasion that states had the right to have their own law on cooperatives and the Centre did not intend to interfere in their functioning. However, the Centre aims to bring uniformity in state laws through dialogue and coordination.
The first session discussed present legal framework, identification of regulatory policy, operational barriers and measures required for their removal leading to Ease of Doing Business and providing a level playing field to cooperatives and other economic entities. It was chaired by Dr GR Chintala, Chairman, NABARD.
Reforms for strengthening governance including cooperative principles, democratic member control, increasing member participation, transparency, regular elections, HR policy, leveraging international and national best practices, account keeping and auditing were discussed in the second session, which was chaired by Manoj Ahuja, Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
The third session was held on the topics of multi-cooperative vibrant economic entities by strengthening infrastructure, strengthening equity base, access to capital, diversification of activities, promoting entrepreneurship, promoting branding, marketing, business plan development, innovation, technology adoption and exports. This session was chaired by Upendra Prasad Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Textile.
Training, education, knowledge sharing and awareness building including mainstreaming cooperatives, linking training with entrepreneurship, inclusion of women, youth and weaker sections were the topics for the fourth session, which was chaired by Dr Trilochan Mohapatra, Secretary (DARE) & Director General, ICAR.
The fifth session, chaired by KV Shaji, Deputy MD, NABARD, discussed promoting new cooperatives, revitalizing defunct ones, promoting cooperation among cooperatives, increasing membership, formalizing collectives, developing cooperatives for sustainable growth, mitigating regional imbalances and exploring new sectors.
Chaired by Dr Ashok Dalwai, CEO, NRAA, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, the sixth session discussed promoting social cooperatives and the role of cooperatives in social security.
More than two dozen Central Ministries represented by Secretaries and Joint Secretaries, 36 State Governments and Union Territories represented by their Additional Chief Secretaries, Principal Secretaries and Registrar Cooperatives and heads of around 40 cooperatives and other major national institutions and organizations participated in this conference and shared their valuable views on this event.