“Ministry of cooperation will run cooperatively with all the states and it is not made to fight with anyone. No one needs to think whether it is a state subject or a central issue. We will help all the states, take everyone along and take the movement forward,” said Shah.
Opposition parties, led by Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Sharad Pawar, have expressed apprehensions over the creation of a new ministry in June this year and termed it an attack on federalism.
Speaking at the first national cooperative conclave, Shah, who is also the home minister, said, “In the year 2002, Atal ji had brought the cooperative policy and now, in 2021-22, Modi ji will bring a new cooperative policy within some time. He said that in the 75 years of independence, in the Amrit Mahotsav, we will start formulating a new cooperative policy.”
Addressing the gathering, comprising more than 2,100 representatives of different cooperatives and nearly 50 million online participants, Shah announced that the number of primary agriculture cooperatives (PACs) will be increased to 300,000, from 65,000 at present, in the next five years. “The role of credit societies will be further strengthened so that even the smallest person can get credit,” said Shah.
He said the cooperation ministry will ensure priority landing by working with all the ministries to enhance the role of cooperatives in all priority sector lending.
On the lines of Amul, special legal management is needed for self-help groups to work by forming their own societies, on which work is being done, said Shah. Stressing that the cooperative movement is more relevant today than ever, he said cooperatives can contribute a lot in the development of the country. According to him, cooperatives will play a crucial part in making India a $5 trillion economy.
Referring to the problems being faced by cooperatives on taxation and other issues, Shah said he was aware of the concerns and assured that there would be no injustice towards them.
The conclave was organised by various cooperative organisations, including the Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited, National Cooperative Federation of India, Amul, Sahakar Bharti, NAFED and KRIBHCO.