(GIST OF YOJANA) Sahakar se Samridhi: From Planning to Realisation
Sahakar se Samridhi: From Planning to Realisation
For harnessing cooperation for prosperity and progress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi established the Ministry of Cooperation (MoC) as a separate administrative body in July 2021, with a call for “Sahakar se Samriddhi” (prosperity through cooperation). The ministry takes a whole-of-government approach to effectively implement government initiatives. During the Amrit Kaal (2023-2047), India has an opportunity to emerge as one of the world's leading economic leaders by harnessing the power of collaboration.
Significance of cooperatives:
- Cooperation, represented by the term Sahakarya, means collaboration and team management.
- By adopting a collaborative economic model, India can promote balanced regional development and inspire local entrepreneurs to take a global perspective.
- Cooperation serves as a powerful tool to achieve economic freedom, self-sufficiency and social justice.
- Cooperatives, as community-level economic organizations, have the potential to generate and absorb social capital.
Background behind establishment:
- Throughout India’s history, cooperation has been deeply rooted in its way of life, reflecting the core principle of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, which emphasizes the concept of the world as one family.
- The cooperative movement in India first developed into a charity-oriented initiative with the passage of the Cooperative Credit Societies Act in 1904, later amended in 1912. Their main focus was mobilizing rural credit and providing financial support to farmers.
- However, with the recommendations of the Maclagan Committee on Cooperation in India (1914-15), the cooperative movement shifted from a welfare-oriented approach to a broader agenda for improving socio-economic well-being.
- In post-independence India, cooperatives were recognized as key contributors to the country's development and progress and were duly incorporated into the Indian government's future plans.
- Today, India is home to 8.54 lakh cooperatives of which 80% are non-credit cooperatives, and 20% are credit cooperatives. Today, cooperatives have a presence in 98% of villages, with 29 crore members.
- Cooperatives are people-centred organizations because their work is people centred and not capitalcentric. They foster collective cohesion, collaborative entrepreneurship and stronger social bonds by adhering to the seven golden principles of working together.
- Cooperation has enormous potential to ensure inclusive economic growth. For example, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel seeded Anand Milk Union Limited (Amul) through Tribhuvandas Patel. It has now become a global newspaper brand.
- Cooperatives are people-centric organizations as they operate with a focus on people rather than capital. They promote collective cohesiveness, community business sense, and stronger social bonds by adhering to the seven golden principles of cooperation.
- Cooperation holds immense potential to ensure comprehensive economic growth. For example, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel, through Tribhuvandas Patel, sowed the seeds of Anand Milk Union Limited (Amul). It has now become a global diary brand.
- Cooperatives’ full potential as a business model for achieving inclusive development is yet to be fully harnessed. Addressing hurdles and challenges through appropriate policies and effective government interventions is necessary to unleash the complete potential of cooperatives. This can be done through 4 Ps and 4 Es framework for attaining Sahakar se Samriddhi.
Commitment to cooperative movement
The government has decided to plan, prioritise and explore new emerging areas for cooperatives through the ‘SQUAD’ framework:
- S – Self-reliance (Atmanirbhar)
- Q – Quality Performance
- U – Unshakable Cooperative Movement
- A – Accountability in Governance
- D – Development through Modern Technology
To establish a uniform legal and operational framework for cooperative development, the Union Government collaborating with the States/UTs. To achieve this, the government is formulating an all-inclusive National Cooperation Policy through a committee (Chairman: Suresh Prabhu).
How model bye-laws will make PACS vibrant?
- Model bye-laws for Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) have been formulated and shared with the States/UTs for their consideration and adoption.
- These model bye-laws aim to establish a dynamic and robust cooperative culture at the grassroots level, fostering the development of multi-purpose and multi-dimensional cooperatives.
- So far, 22 States/UTs have adopted the model bye-laws. The model byelaws have the potential to enhance operational efficiency, transparency, and responsibility towards collective community development.
What are the other measures for PACS?
- PACS and Large Area Multi-Purpose Societies (LAMPS) will provide more than 300 e-services to citizens as common service centers (CSC).
- PACS will be integrated with Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) under the existing FPOs Scheme of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare. This would help PACS extend their scope of activities.
- The PACS are now eligible to avail licenses for Petrol/ Diesel dealerships and LPG distributorships.
Developing National Database:
- MoC is developing a cooperative database which will store authentic and updated data on cooperatives of all sectors.
- It will help stakeholders carry out data analytics, find gaps and support policy formulation.
Need to consolidate cooperative credit:
- In order to strengthen the long-term (LT) cooperative credit structure, the MoC is working on a project to computerize the banks for agriculture and rural development (ARDB).
- Computerization of PCARDBs and State-owned Agricultural and Rural Development Co-operative Banks (SCARDB) will eliminate problems, deficiencies and inefficiencies in their operations and profitability.
- What measures are being taken to improve cooperative education?
- The government creates a national cooperative university for a comprehensive, integrated and standardized structure for cooperative teaching and training.
- The university will also meet the needs for skills development of the existing workforce while ensuring a local, adequate and quality supply of qualified workforce.
- To realize the potential of cooperatives, priority must be given to strengthening and revitalizing primary community-level cooperatives.
- Some problems require immediate attention. These are: (a) reducing regional and sectoral imbalances in cooperative expansion; (b) comply with regulatory complexities; (C) improve governance, leadership and operating systems; (d) ensuring professional management; e) initiate structural reform measures etc.
- A concerted effort must be made to ensure rapid and equal distribution of cooperatives across states/UTs.
- Sahakar se Samriddhi's vision will be realized in the truest sense of the word when cooperatives adhere to the central philosophy of the cooperative model of socio-economic progress.