Centre Will Strengthen Cooperative Sector: Amit Shah

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Aim to bring transparent system for agri finance

Pune, Dec 19 (PTI): Union Home and Cooperation minister Amit Shah on Sunday said the Centre will come up with various measures to strengthen the cooperative movement in the country aiming to set up a transparent system for agriculture finance.

Speaking at the convocation ceremony of Vaikunth Mehta National Institute of Cooperative Management (VAMNICOM) here, Shah said that the government will amend the multi-state Cooperative Act and try to plug all loopholes besides taking other measures.

He also said that a new cooperative policy will be brought soon.

On the occasion, Shah said the Centre will soon set up a national university for cooperative management courses.

He said that the cooperative movement in the country has weakened in the last several years.

“We will have to once again strengthen the cooperative sector and make it the biggest contributor in the country’s GDP, and for that, all you have to work with dedication in your respective fields,” Shah told the students.

He said that to strengthen the cooperative movement in the country, the Narendra Modi government is bringing many measures.

“We will amend the multi-state Cooperative Act and we will try to plug all loopholes. Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS), which are the soul of the cooperative movement, will be connected to district cooperative banks. The DCCs will be connected to state cooperative banks, and state cooperative banks will be linked to NABARD,” said Shah, adding that by doing this, the government wants to bring a transparent system for agriculture finance.

He added that if PACS function transparently, then the country’s economic wheel will gather pace, and a lot of the schemes from different departments will get percolated down through the cooperative sector.

In his address, Shah said there are several opportunities in the cooperative sector available for students stepping out of these institutes with degrees.

“…Today, you are also stepping out of this institute. VAMNICOM is not a university and there is no atmosphere (possibility) that it will become so. But it has associated itself with various state-level institutes from 24 states in a short period,” he said.

“We will very soon set up a university for cooperative management courses…It will be a national university and several colleges from states will affiliate themselves with this university,” Shah added.

He said India scripted several success stories in the cooperative sector and when India wants to stand ‘aatmanirbhar’ (self-reliant) in front of the world, the cooperative sector will play an important role.

One meaning of becoming ‘aatmanirbhar’ is to manufacture all the necessary things in India while the other meaning is to make 130 crore people of the country self-reliant, Shah said.

“If we want to make 130 crore people ‘aatmanirbhar’ and bring about equal development, cooperative is the only sector which will offer all-round development, equal development and opportunity to these 130 crore people and help them become self-reliant,” he said.

Shah also said that many farmers in the country are adopting the organic farming model. However, they are not getting the right price for their produce, he said.

“There is no system for soil and product certification. We have decided to bring in a system in which global valid certificates will be issued for products of farmers engaged in organic farming. They will receive a higher price for their products. We will rope in entities like Amul, which has several success stories to its credit in the cooperative sector, in this endeavour,” he said.

Shah further said that the Centre wants to expand the scope of the cooperative sector in the country.

“If we want to increase the scope of the cooperative sector, we will have to bring a cooperative policy through which implementation can be done for the next 25 years,” he said.

Speaking at a function related to the cooperative sector in Ahmednagar district on Saturday, Shah had said that some state governments were not giving bank guarantees to sugar mills whose management is politically linked to opposition parties.

He had said that he was not going to be a mute spectator in this sector.

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