The Union Home and Cooperation Minister Shri Amit Shah attended the celebrations organized on the occasion of 100th International Day of Cooperatives in New Delhi today as the Chief Guest. The celebrations were organized by the Ministry of Cooperation and the National Cooperative Union of India (NCUI). The main theme of the event was “Building a Self-Reliant India and a Better World through Co-operatives”. The Union Dairy and Fisheries Minister Shri Purushottam Rupala, Minister of State for Cooperation Shri B. L. Verma, former Union Minister Shri Suresh Prabhu, Secretary, Ministry of Cooperation Shri Gyanesh Kumar, ICA-AP President Dr. Chandra Pal Singh and NCUI President Dilip Sanghani, and many other dignitaries associated with cooperatives across the country attended the event.
In his address, Shri Amit Shah said that as we celebrate 100 years of cooperatives, we should remember that till now we have done good work. He said that in spite of many shortcomings, he is proud of the position that the cooperative sector has achieved today. He said a strong foundation of the cooperative movement has been laid and it is now our responsibility and that of the generations to come to build a strong structure on this foundation. Cooperatives have to keep up with the modern times, by combining technology and professionalism, so that they can progress into the future. He said today is the day to make people working in the field of cooperatives aware. It is a day to modernize the cooperative sector, to channelize the spirit of cooperation and contribution among the people, to create equality among communities and to show them the path of co-prosperity.
Shri Amit Shah said we are celebrating Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav and we have to pledge that 2047 will be the year when the cooperative movement will be at its peak in the country. He said that the cooperative has moved forward to realize the vision of a self-reliant India in every field. In the last 100 years, the world has adopted the models of communism and capitalism, but the middle way model of cooperation provides a new, successful and sustainable economic model to the world. He said unbalanced development has been caused by the prevailing economic model and to make it all inclusive the cooperative model has to be popularized, which will lead to the creation of a self-reliant India.
The Union Minister for Cooperation said that during its movement of 100-125 years in India, cooperatives have carved out a niche for themselves. He said that more than 12 percent of the world’s population is associated with cooperatives through more than 30 lakh cooperatives. The joint cooperative economy of the world is the fifth largest economic unit and this is a great achievement. He said that there is a misconception amongst many people that cooperatives have failed but they should look at the global data which shows that cooperatives contribute a lot to the GDP of many countries. He said that among the 300 largest cooperative societies of the world, three societies of India namely Amul, IFFCO and KRIBHCO are also included. He said that we have kept the spirit of cooperatives alive in the country and as a result, the government led by Shri Narendra Modi has transferred profits of Amul, IFFCO and KRIBHCO directly to farmers’ bank accounts. He said cooperatives have been the soul of Indian culture from the very beginning and India has given the idea of cooperatives to the world. Out of 30 lakh cooperative societies in the world, 8.55 lakh are in India and about 13 crore people are directly associated with them. There are 91 percent villages in India which have some form of cooperatives working in them.
The Union Cooperation Minister said that Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji has given fresh lease of life to the cooperative movement by creating the Union Ministry of Cooperation in the 75th year of independence. He said cooperatives have contributed much in many areas of our country. Shri Shah said that despite achieving much in the cooperative sector, it is not in a state of satisfaction. In the country, 70 crore people come from the deprived class and nothing can be better than cooperatives to make them financially self-reliant by connecting them with the development of the country. He said that these 70 crore people were not in a position to even dream of development in the last 70 years because the previous government used to only have the slogan of “Garibi Hatao”. He said that without raising the living standards of these f people, without worrying about their livelihood, without worrying about their health, they cannot be linked with the economic development of the country. But after Shri Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister in 2014, there has been a radical change in their lives. Today these people are getting basic facilities such as housing, electricity, food, health and cooking gas.
Shri Amit Shah said today every person is able to dream of his economic development because Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has increased people’s aspirations and only cooperatives can fulfill these aspirations and expectations. He said aspirations of these 70 crore persons which Shri Modi has created, should be channelized through cooperatives, and efforts should be made to make them self-reliant through cooperatives.
Shri Amit Shah said that self-reliance does not only mean being self-reliant in technology and production, but it also means that every person becomes financially self-reliant and when this happens, the country will automatically become self-reliant. The Government of India is taking this idea forward under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. The true meaning of cooperatives is to make them financially self-reliant by providing a platform to the aspirations of these 70 crore people. A cooperative comes to fruition when many people with limited capital come together and start a new venture with large capital and I am sure that by doing this 70 crore people will become self-reliant. He said to achieve this, we have to move ahead with a new approach by changing the current form of cooperatives along with strict control over those who run cooperatives.
The country’s first cooperative minister said that the government led by Shri Narendra Modi has recently decided to computerize 65,000 Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS), which will bring PACS, District Cooperative Banks, State Cooperative Banks and NABARD online, and which will bring transparency in the system. He said PACS is a State subject and the Center has sent model by-laws in respect of PACS to the States for their suggestions, so that PACS can be made multi-purpose and multi-dimensional. He also said that soon these (Model By-laws) will be sent to cooperative societies for suggestions. He said 25 types of activities will be linked with PACS which will increase employment opportunities. These bye-laws will make PACS the center of village activities by providing many functions and facilities. He said he has full faith that the government led by Shri Narendra Modi will provide a model of inclusive economic development to these 70 crore aspirational people through the cooperative sector.
The Union Home and Cooperation Minister said the Ministry of Cooperation is actively working to bring in all possible reforms to make cooperatives thriving, prosperous and relevant. At the same time, he said laws can only monitor, but to improve a sector such as the cooperative sector, we have to exercise some control on those in the cooperative sector. He also said that the government has decided to set up a National Cooperative University for training, which will tie up with the National Cooperative Federation to arrange training of persons in the cooperative sector
Shri Amit Shah said that Amul has been given the task of testing and certifying reliability of organic products. Amul will work with its brand to market organic products in the country and also globally, so that farmers who are doing organic farming will get at least 30 percent more price for their products. He said the government has decided that two big cooperative export houses will be registered which will take care of quality of products produced by cooperatives, bring their production channel at par with the global market and become a medium for export of these products. He said the government has worked to connect IFFCO and KRIBHCO for seed reforms. He said that the government has allowed cooperative societies to purchase through GEM according to recent decisions. The Ministry of Cooperation is also maintaining a database of PACS. He said only the principles of cooperative can give long life to the cooperative movement and abandoning the principles of cooperative is the root cause of some PACS becoming defunct. He called upon cooperative sector workers to imbibe the principles of cooperatives to give cooperatives a long life, to make them relevant, to make them a contributor to the country’s economy and to make these 70 crore aspirational people self-reliant.