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Is Ministry of Cooperation 

strategic part of Mo-Shah's future plans !!!!

Prime Minister Narendra Modi shows deep commitment to community based developmental partnership by creating a separate Ministry of Cooperation . Describing this as a historic move the government said this ministry is for realizing the vision of 'Sahakar to Samridhi'( Prosperity through Cooperation). With a focus to help deepen cooperatives as a true people-based movement, the ministry is mandated to provide a separate administrative, legal and policy framework for strengthening the cooperative movement.  

With a view to reach more and more people at grassroot level, Modi and Shah scripted this idea to create a separate ministry for cooperation keeping the ensuing elections in mind. It is also significant that the new ministry is entrusted to the Ministry of Home affairs under Amit Shah as he has vast experience in the co-operative sector. While he was in Gujarat, Shah held the responsibilities of the co-operative banks.  At the time he took charge of that bank, it was in ICU with heavy losses.  Soon after he took the reins, within one year the bank tasted good results with profits. 

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Considering the commitment and capability of Mr.Amit Shah in the cooperative sector Prime Minister Modi handed over the responsibility of Cooperative Ministry. With this effort, the entire cooperative operations will be carried by the separate ministry under Amith Shah, which was a state monitored subject till now. Automatically the subject goes into the hands of the Central Government contrary to the laws made earlier. This is clearly a part of 'Mo-Shah' strategy to garner votes by helping through cooperatives, political pundits observed.

History of the Co-operative movement in India :
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In this context, let us have a look at the history of the co-operative movement in India.  The co-operative movement which has its roots in the 19th century in Europe, developed in pre-Independence India in response to agricultural distress and indebtedness. Their growth was fostered, first by India's erstwhile British rulers and, post Independence, several steps have been taken to assist in their growth and functioning.

According to the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI), the formal launch of the cooperative movement in India occurred with the introduction of the Cooperative Societies Act in 1904. In 1912, another Cooperative Societies Act was passed to rectify some of the drawbacks of the earlier law. The next landmark change came in 1919, when cooperation was made a state subject that allowed the various states to come up with their own legislation governing cooperatives. 

Cooperatives are geared towards benefiting the chunk of Indian people – about 65 percent of the country's population, according to MOSPI who depend on agriculture and related activities. According to the Co-operative Societies Act 1912, at least 10 persons aged above 18 years with common economic objectives, like farming, weaving, consuming, etc, can form a cooperative society.

There were 1.48 lakh credit societies in India in 2009-10 with a total membership of 18.12 crores. The number of non-credit societies was 4.58 lakh with 6.82 crore members in the same period.


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Krishna Kumar

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