amit shah: Cooperative sector can play important role in making India self-reliant: Amit Shah

Cooperation Minister Amit Shah on Monday said the cooperative sector can play an important role in making India self-reliant as well as ensuring economic prosperity of 70 crore poor who are aspiring to lead better lives. Shah, also the Union Home Minister, asked the cooperatives to channelise these 70 crore people and make them financially self-reliant.

Addressing a conference to commemorate the 100th International Day of Cooperatives here, the minister highlighted that the Modi government in the last eight years has launched many programmes for the upliftment of poor and to ensure they get electricity, cooking gas, housing and health insurance.

Shah noted that these 70 crore people are now aspiring for better lives and this can only be fulfilled by the cooperative sector.

While addressing a conference on the theme ‘Cooperatives Build An Atmanirbhar Bharat and Better World‘, he attacked the Congress party for only giving slogans of ‘Garibi Hatao‘ and not doing enough to eliminate poverty.

He said that capitalism and communism are extreme forms of governance and cooperative model of development is best suited for the country, adding that the cooperation ministry is working on various aspects to strengthen the cooperative sector by making them professional and multi-dimensional.

Noting that the ministry is taking many pro-active steps, he said a cooperative university will be set up to provide skills training and offer courses in subjects like accounting, marketing and management. The trained manpower can be absorbed in the cooperative societies and this will also eliminate nepotism in appointments, he added.

He also said there is a need to make changes in laws as well but stressed on self-regulations among cooperatives.

Further, Shah highlighted that the government recently decided to undertake computersation of all functional 63,000 Primary Agriculture Credit Societies (PACS) with an outlay of Rs 2,516 crore and said the move will bring transparency in accounting and book keeping.

The government has also come out with draft model bye-laws which will enable PACS to diversify from their core business.

As PACS is a state subject, he said suggestions of state governments are being sought.

There are 8.5 lakh cooperative societies in India and around 12 crore people are linked directly with this sector.

While mentioning about the contribution of cooperatives in many businesses like milk, fertilisers, sugar, fisheries, agri-credit and procurement of foodgrains, he pitched for diversification of cooperatives into other sectors.

Globally also, Shah said the cooperative sector is big and its size is bigger than the economy of France.

The minister emphasised that the cooperative movement should be popularised in the country and it should peak when India celebrates 100th year of independence.

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