overnment will soon draft a new policy for cooperatives in the country, said Home Minister Amit Shah, who also holds the portfolio of Minister of Cooperation.
The Minister, speaking at the first Sehkarita Sammelan or National Cooperative Conference here, said Co-operatives are crucial to attain the goal of a $5 trillion economy.
The Minister said in the 75th year of India’s independence, as a part of the ‘Amrut Mahotsava’, Government will begin drafting the new cooperative policy.
He said that the existing National Policy on Cooperatives was introduced by the NDA government under Atal Bihari Vajpayee in March 2002. He also tried to dispel apprehensions about any conflict between Centre and States as Co-operative societies come under State subjects.
“Many people say that this is a state subject. I don’t want to get into the Centre-state fight, a legal answer can be given easily. I only want to say that the Ministry of Cooperation, formed under the leadership of Modi ji, is not to fight with anyone but to cooperate with all the states,” he said.
At present, co-operatives are under the Multi-State Co-operative Societies Act, 2002, which consolidates and amends the laws relating to cooperative societies.
The Minister said while people question the relevance of Cooperatives, it is today more relevant than ever before.
“We will work with all states to take forward the cooperative movement,” he said.
He said co-operatives are important to ensure ‘antyodaya’ (uplifitng the poor) and remembered ideologue Deendayal Upadhyay. September 25 is also the birth anniversary of Upadhyaya.
“Welfare of the poor and ‘antyodaya’ cannot be imagined without cooperatives. Pt. Deendayal (Upadhyays) ji had the vision of ‘Antyodaya’. It is his birthday today. I am happy the cooperative conference is being held today,” he said.
He said “time of negligence” towards co-operatives is over, and it is time to ‘prioritise’ them.
“Co-operatives have a huge contribution, but there are many dynamics that need to be explored,” he said.
The Minister also promised that the government will set up three lakh Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) for the six lakh villages. At present, there are 63,000 PACS across the country.
The conference saw the participation of nearly 6 crore online participants, government officials said.
The Ministry of Co-operation was formed in July this year and Shah is the first minister to hold the portfolio.