JAMMU: Minister of State for Cooperatives, Dr. Manohar Lal Sharma has said that Government has taken several far-reaching steps to restore the democratic character of Cooperative Societies by holding their elections after a long gap. He said the activities of Cooperative Societies have been diversified to new economic frontier to give new dimension to the Cooperative Movement in Jammu and Kashmir.
Replying to the discussion demand for Grants of Cooperative Department in the House today, the Minister said that primary objective of the Department was to create awareness among the general masses, particularly educated unemployed youth of the State by organizing and encouraging them to form Cooperative Societies enabling them to make their livelihood after undertaking gainful commercial activities under the cooperative ambit. To give impetus to the employability, the Department was able to register 127 new cooperative societies with an aggregate membership of 2888 during 2011-12 and 2012-13 (ending 11/2012) in different viable commercial disciplines, said Dr. Manohar.
To further strengthen the Cooperative Movement in the State, the Minister said that Department has implemented Integrated Cooperative Development Project (ICDP) funded by NCDC. The project is aimed to ensure holistic development of the Cooperative Movement in the State where under financial assistance under different heads for the Cooperative Marketing Societies/Agriculture Cooperative Societies/Consumer Stores/Vegetable Cooperatives and Dairy Cooperative Societies is being provided. In the first phase district Anantnag and Kathua have been taken up with a capital amount of Rs. 19.36 crore, he added.
As a national policy to empower women, the Department has strengthened the Women Credit Cooperative, Jammu and Kashmir Women Credit Cooperatives. The Jammu Women Credit Cooperative is operating with membership of 12656 through 32 branches. Similarly, the Kashmir Women Credit Cooperative has 4 branches with 1700 members. Both the Cooperatives are visualized to graduate into full-fledged Women Cooperative Banks after attaining the norms set by the Reserve Bank of India, for granting banking licence to be implemented by the banks, the Minister maintained.
To boost the dairy sector under Cooperatives, the Department has revived Milk Plants at Cheshmashahi in Srinagar and Satwari in Jammu. Both these plants have been liquidated and remodelled in collaboration with the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd (GCMMF) and taken over by the newly registered Jammu and Kashmir Milk Producers Cooperative Ltd (JKMPCL) a self-reliant Cooperative. The JKMPCL is an Apex level cooperative under dairy sector and collecting milk through its Primary Village Level Dairy Cooperatives. Both the Milk Plants process about 20,000 litres of milk per day each and market it under the brand name Snow-cap. The immediate impact of the JKMPCL has been the remunerative price to the milk producers who previously due to non-availability of marketing facility restored to distress sale. The JKMPCL has registered a record business turnover of Rs. 18.86 crore during the previous fiscal, said the Minister.
Similarly, Dr. Manhohar said the Super Bazars of Jammu and Srinagar have been re-organized and equipped to handle the bulk supply orders. These institutions have achieved milestones in sales during the past two years and are gradually moving towards self-reliant institutions. The Super Bazar Jammu has shown substantial improvement in its functioning and its employees have been given benefits of 6th Pay Commission and are getting regular salaries.
Likewise, he said, functioning of other institutions like JAKFED and Cooperative Banks has also been toned up to make them profit earning units.
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