National Cooperation Policy
Around 29 crore people are members of India’s 8.5 lakh cooperative societies, which are dispersed throughout the whole nation. These co-operatives work in a variety of industries, including weaving, housing, dairying, fisheries, and marketing, to name a few. The government’s ‘Sahakar Se Samriddhi‘ vision is being realized through this newly enacted National Cooperation Policy. Until now, cooperatives are governed by the current National Policy on Cooperatives, which was formulated in 2002. PACS (primary agricultural credit societies) will be involved in a holistic approach.
This will fulfill the mandate of the newly established Ministry of Cooperation, strengthen the cooperative movement, extend its reach to the grassroots, and promote the cooperative-based economic development model.
Emphasis on Social Harmony and Economic Cooperation:
In recent years, there has been a growing emphasis on social harmony and economic cooperation. This trend has been driven by a number of factors, including the increasing globalization of the Indian economy and the growing recognition of the interdependence of the states.
As this trend continues, it is essential to remember that social harmony and economic cooperation are not goals that can be achieved overnight. They are processes that will take time, patience, and a commitment to working together for the common good; only by working together can we hope to create a better future for all.
The focus should be made on the SMEs and skill development activities that have helped create large-scale job opportunities and provide livelihoods to millions. Today, more than 300 million people have been directly or indirectly benefitted from the focus given on these people at the grassroots by the cooperative societies at large.
Recently, the group, which has 47 members from all around the nation, has been presided over by the former minister of the Union, Suresh Prabhu. The committee comprises cooperative industry specialists, national, state, district, and primary cooperative society representatives, cooperative society secretaries and registrars, and members from central ministries and departments.
The other prominent members in the panel include:
- Umakant Dash, Director, Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA)
- H K Mishra, Professor, Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA)
- Sukhpal Singh, Professor, IIM Ahmedabad; Satish Marathe, Director, RBI Central Board
- Y Dongre, Vice Chancellor of Chanakya University, Karnataka
- D Krishna, Ex. CEO, National Federation of Urban Cooperative Banks and Credit Societies (NAFCUB)
- C Pichai, Professor and Chief, Cooperative Department, Gandhigram Rural Institute, Tamil Nadu
- Sanjeev Kumar Chadha, Ex. MD, NAFED
- Dileep Sanghani, President, NCUI & Chairman, IFFCO
- Jyotindra Mehta, Chairman, NAFCUB
- Manoj Kumar Semwal, MD, National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation (NCCF)
- K K Ravindran, MD, National Cooperative Agriculture and Rural Development Banks’ Federation Ltd. (NAFCARD)
- Ranjan Chowdhry, MD, KRIBHCO
- Konduru Ravinder Rao, Chairman of the National Federation of State Co-operative Banks Ltd (NAFSCOB)
- Prakash Naiknavare, MD of the National Federation of Co-operative Sugar Factories Ltd (NFCSF)
- R S Sodhi, MD, Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd (GCMMF)
Why was the National Cooperation Policy formulated?
The current National Policy on Cooperatives was created in 2002 with the goals of promoting cooperative development on all levels and providing them with the necessary support, encouragement, and assistance to ensure that they operate as independent, self-reliant, democratically managed institutions accountable to their members and contributes significantly to the national economy.
Cooperatives strive to meet the economic, cultural, and social needs of their members and their communities. The cooperatives often play a significant role in strengthening their communities and share a solid commitment to the one they live in or serve.
The ultimate goal of the National Policy is to achieve the following objectives:
- Promote and support the development of cooperatives;
- Assist in reducing regional imbalances;
- Education, training, and human resource development should be strengthened within cooperative societies.
Challenges of National Cooperation Policy:
Here are some of the challenges as to why the formulation of the National Cooperation Policy has been planned;
- The exclusive control of the Cooperative Society lies with the Central Cooperative Commissioner to prevent the interference of the state authorities
- Financial and administrative control rests with state registrars through district and tehsil-level officers for state-registered societies
- In the event of expenditures exceeding a certain level, the general body meeting of the society must be called.
- The government appears to have little control over Cooperative societies on a day-to-day basis
Limitations of National Cooperation Policy:
- The NCP might not provide aid for personal or family expenses; only constructive uses of aid are covered. As a result, the rural poor still rely on money lenders to pay for things like weddings, medical treatment, social obligations, etc.
- The NCP’s autonomy and flexibility are hampered by excessive government regulation. Most of the management’s time and energy is spent complying with various regulations.
- One of the biggest issues the NCP confronts is a lack of sufficient human resources in terms of numbers, abilities, and experience. This is also because of the reorganization of government agencies, which left cooperatives with relatively few employees, particularly at the local government level.
Achievements of National Cooperation Policy:
Here are some of the successful implementations of Cooperatives in India:
- Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO)
It is one of the largest cooperative societies in India, and Indian Cooperatives owns it entirely. It makes it possible for Indian farmers to succeed through the timely delivery of dependable, high-quality agricultural inputs and services in a way that is environmentally friendly and to engage in other welfare-improving activities.
- National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Limited (NAFED).
Beekeeping is being encouraged by the government as part of its effort to quadruple farmer income and achieve tribal upliftment. The National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Limited’s Honey Farmer Producer Organization (FPO) Program has been launched by the Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare (NAFED).
Way Forward – National Cooperation Policy (NCP):
Under the astute leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the new National Cooperative Policy is being developed in order to actualize the vision of “Sahakar Se Samriddhi“. The Union Home and Cooperation Minister, Shri Amit Shah, has announced the formation of a National Level Committee for the formation of the National Cooperation Policy document. The new National Cooperation Policy will go a significant way in strengthening the cooperative movement in the country.
In order for cooperatives to function as independent, self-sufficient, democratically managed institutions accountable to their members and make a significant contribution to the national economy, it was also envisioned that cooperatives would receive the necessary support, encouragement, and assistance.
The new National Cooperation Policy document aims to help the new Ministry of Cooperation carry out its purpose, which involves advancing the cooperative-based economic framework and expanding the nation’s cooperative movement.