Solan: If we need to strengthen the cooperatives we should do away with the obsolete acts and norms, said Chief Minister Jairam Thakur. The Chief Minister advocated to modify or replaced legal ambiguities and norms in cooperative sector, and assured to make certain changes in the Act and provisions after due deliberation.

Jairam Thakur, in a State Level Cooperative Conference with the theme ‘Challenges and Scope in 21st Century’, organised by the Department of Cooperatives today, said that Himachal need to be given fillip to the cooperative sector and make it growth and profit oriented.

Thakur said that though the State was doing well in agriculture and horticulture sectors setting a role model for other states, but in few sectors we need to follow the other states who have excelled in various fields through cooperatives.

The Chief Minister said that despite state pioneered in Cooperative movement, but it was unfortunate that the state is still lagging behind. He said

“We should not feel hesitant in accepting our weakness and few suggestion and hard work can help sail the cooperatives into profit which would help in raising socio-economic status of the people of the state”

The Chief Minister said that the outcome of such conferences should pave the way for effective implementation of the cooperative societies.

If all political parties come together for a common cause it would certainly help in development of the State, he said, adding that he wishes Himachal to surge ahead in the cooperative sector. The Chief Minister believed the unemployment can be addressed through strengthening of cooperative societies. Cooperatives can also play a pivotal role to boost tourism and he was looking forward for suggestions as how to go for it, the CM further added.

Social Justice and Empowerment and Cooperative Minister Dr. Rajeev Saizal while addressing on the occasion the said that the first national Cooperative was started in Panjawar village of Una district in 1892 and stressed for removal of impediments and make the State the leading one in the country in the field of cooperatives.

Department to target districts to launch cooperative movement

Dr. Satish Marathe, a Patron of Sahakar Bharati, said that efforts were afoot to instill new lease of life into cooperatives. He said as many as 8.50 lakhs cooperatives societies were registered in the country with total membership of more than 28 crore. He said that the Indian cooperative movement was the largest in the world. Almost 100 percent villages were having cooperative societies being run by the people, he said. He said that the cooperatives contribute in a big way to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), said Marathe besides he also highlighted various obstacles impeding the growth of this sector.

Dr. Marathe said the income earning opportunities, which were supposed to get through cooperatives, were not finding favour in our country because of quite a few challenges.

He said it was unfortunate that the cooperatives could not penetrate deep in manufacturing and service sector and has confined itself to diary, agricultural and few other sectors. He said that the farmers were not going to benefit merely by increasing support prices. The need for the hour was to set up small mobile processing units for optimum gains in agro sector, he added.

Secretary Cooperatives Dr. R.N Batta, said that the in furtherance of the Chief Ministers 100 day’s agenda this conference would help to seek the views of those associated with the Cooperative movement, so as to make it more effective. As many as 500 delegates participated in the conference from across the State.