Cooperatives Best Medium To Reach Far Flung Areas: LG

Jammu- The Union Territory Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha said on Monday that cooperatives are perhaps the best medium to reach out to the far-flung areas of Jammu and Kashmir and the poor & marginalized sections.

Sinha made these remarks during the inauguration of 69th All India Cooperative Week celebrations at General Zorawar Singh Auditorium of the University of Jammu here on Monday, an official spokesperson said.

The LG commended the significant role being played by all stakeholders associated with the cooperative movement in building a strong eco-system for growth of the cooperative sector in the UT.

He said that the Jan-Andolan for promotion of social-enterprises, its values, and principles to establish equality, equity, and solidarity are pivotal for bringing socio-economic development for inclusive growth in rural J&K.

“Under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home & Cooperation Minister, Amit Shah, the Cooperatives are being transformed as an effective economic instrument for ensuring growth in sectors like agriculture, handicraft, sugar, dairy, textiles, fisheries, storage, food processing and upliftment of small & marginal farmers,” the LG said.

“Cooperatives are perhaps the best medium to reach out to the far-flung areas of J&K UT and the poor & marginalized sections,” he added.

The LG said that in the era of start-ups and unicorns, we need to meet the aspiration of youth and cooperatives need to constantly reinvent themselves.

“Cooperatives should be established as one of the pillars for economic and social development,” he added.

Highlighting the achievements made under the Cooperative sector in the UT, the LG shared the government’s vision to strengthen the cooperative movement in Jammu Kashmir.

“This year’s theme “[email protected]: Growth of Cooperatives & Future Ahead” is our resolve to build a resilient and viable business ecosystem of Cooperatives with special participation of youth & women and enable Cooperative-based economic model to realize the Mantra of ‘Sahkar Se Samriddhi’,” Sinha said.

“Cooperatives need to address the challenges our rural economy and people are facing today and must offer financial and non-financial benefits. Since it is driven by the local members who understand the needs, it can have a greater impact on health, education, agriculture, credit, tourism, green energy and hospitality sectors,” he added.

The LG also maintained that his administration is laying special thrust on registration of Cooperatives, training and capacity building of the stakeholders, modernizing cooperative markets, bringing transparency in the system and creating new markets & enabling government departments to purchase directly from these markets.

“We have registered 1006 Cooperatives in the last one year and 31,578 members were trained during Jan-Abhiyan. It shows that the determined efforts are being made to widen the network and ensure capacity building for professional functioning of the cooperatives,” the LG said.

“We are also determined to revive and revitalize the defunct Cooperatives. Recapitalization amount of Rs. 255.71 Crores in favour of three District Central Cooperative Banks were released to improve their fiscal health,” he added.

Maintaining that Cooperatives also need to improve business viability and capacity to create employment and income to empower people, the LG said that the creation of new cooperatives should be people-driven and the demand for new cooperatives must come from society so that their success as a commercial entity will encourage others.

Sinha further underscored the need to promote close coordination among Primary, District, and State-level Cooperatives.
“Cross marketing efforts among Self-Help Groups and Handicraft Cooperatives can contribute to women empowerment and various income generating activities. Such efforts can transform Cooperatives in rural areas as vibrant entities,” he added.

The LG said that the government’s focus is on promotional drive for formation of new multi-purpose Cooperatives, reducing regional imbalance by increasing more Cooperatives per person and exploring new and commercially viable sectors.

He also called for replicating successful models of other states and preparing a comprehensive framework, keeping in mind the viability and the vulnerable sections of the society.

“There should be proper representation of members of deprived/marginalized sections in the Cooperative sector,” he added.

The LG further called for providing Capital infusion and market access to FPOs through the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund, and encouraging them to undertake construction of godowns, as being done in other States/UTs.

Sinha also spoke on the efforts being made for establishing multipurpose and multidimensional PACS (Primary Agricultural Credit Societies) in every village.

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