SRINAGAR: While inaugurating the celebrations of the 68th National Cooperative Week, the Lt Governor extended his best wishes to all the members of cooperative societies, Farmer-Producer Organisations, and all those involved in the modernization of Super Bazars of the Cooperatives.
Expressing gratitude towards Prime Minister, the Lt Governor said that it is under the guidance of PM Shri Narendra Modi and Hon’ble Home & Cooperation Minister Shri Amit Shah, the country is witnessing renaissance in Cooperative movement to address the developmental needs of underprivileged sections of the society.
“We are determined to deepen the cooperative movement as a people-based movement to reach citizens at the grassroots. The J&K administration is making efforts to facilitate development of new women and youth cooperatives and provide them with a solid support system to flourish”, he added.
The Lt Governor said that the government aims to increase the number of Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies by providing much-needed support to the people in every Panchayat. This will substantially increase the credit lending in Agri & allied sectors and benefits will also flow to small and marginal farmers, he added.
The Lt Governor stressed that in order to truly realize the Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Sahkar se Samriddhi’, Cooperatives in J&K UT must focus on agri-marketing, food processing, branding, supply of seeds and other innovative activities in dairy & handicrafts.
The Lt Governor also underscored that Mission Youth in J&K is working as a Cooperative entrepreneurship organisation and demonstrating how business with cooperative spirit can lead the way to tackle the modern challenges.
“Cooperative movement is not just about business or credit lending. It is our way of life. Every person has to work together for the same goal- a prosperous, peaceful and Aatm-nirbhar Jammu Kashmir UT. We must work together to protect and promote social and economic rights of every individual”, he added.
The Lt Governor impressed upon all the stakeholders to take necessary steps via cooperative institutions in making all panchayats of the UT prosperous and creating village infrastructure, so that by taking inspiration from the past, we can build a prosperous future.
“I believe that cooperative is the most credible medium of socio-economic development of farmers, rural population, unorganized sector workers, women, and we need to assess its creative, transformative potential in various fields, to meet the needs of rural and other areas. Accordingly, institutions have to be developed and wherever old institutions are inactive, efforts will have to be made to revive them”, he added.
Terming Panchayats and Co-operatives as two sides of the same coin, the Lt Governor said that if Panchayat represents grassroots democracy and administrative system, then the cooperatives strengthen their self-reliance, competence and autonomy in at least 20 sectors of the rural system like cottage industries, agriculture and allied activities by raising its economic side. At the same time it protects the interests of the deprived sections, he added.
The Lt Governor gave examples of IFFCO which is supplying Nano Liquid Urea to the farmers of Jammu and Kashmir; Amul, world-renowned milk producers cooperative and Krishak Bharti Co-Operative Limited (KRIBHCO) as successful cooperatives which have secured place in the top 10 cooperative institutions all over the world.
The Lt Governor also mentioned about National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Limited (NAFED), which is the vehicle of development revolution not only in J&K but also in other parts of the country. All these institutions have been considered as a symbol of awakening of self-reliance in a very large section of the society for years. There has been a positive change in the lives of lakhs and crores of families because of these cooperatives, he added.
Speaking on the impact of Self Help Groups, the Lt Governor said that, in our UT, more than 52 thousand self-help groups are changing the lives of 4.5 lakh women. “This year we have resolved that 11,000 new self-help groups will be formed so that their potential gets its due place in the economy and development. With the help of cooperatives, we can give new impetus to entrepreneurial women’s organizations, the Lt Governor added.
The Lt Governor said that along with transparent system, election, accountability, now all cooperative institutions will also have to make efforts to become profitable. We also have to work on making the cooperative sector more organized in terms of production and value addition so that its products can compete not only in the country but also in global markets, he added.
On the e-Inauguration of an awareness and training Program of Fisheries department, the Lt Governor said that there are many such schemes that have the potential to change the socio-economic status of communities and the benefits of those schemes should reach the grassroots. He directed the concerned heads of departments for sensitizing their officials to work in this direction with determination.
Under the leadership of Home and Cooperation Minister Shri Amit Shah, financial assistance of up to Rs.3 crore is being provided to the newly formed cooperatives, especially to the innovative organizations through “Yuva Sahakar – Cooperative Enterprise Support and Innovation Scheme”. Apart from this, if the institutions want to expand, then the Central Government and NABARD are also cooperating, the Lt Governor observed.
The Lt Governor gave the mantra of “Quality, Service and Value” to cooperatives and said that it will definitely protect the interests of the weakest section of the people.
Meanwhile, the Lt Governor also handed over Registration Certificates to newly registered FPOs/Cooperatives. He also handed over a cheque of Rs. 5 lakh to Cooperative School of Education and Research institute, besides facilitating prominent stakeholders of cooperative movement in the UT.
Earlier, in her address, Ms. Yasha Mudgul, Secretary, J&K Cooperatives department, gave a detailed overview of the cooperative movement in J&K, besides the current status, she also briefed about the prospective initiatives including the registration of Farmer Producer Organization (FPOs) as Cooperatives. Initially, with the registration of 20 FPO Cooperatives, 6000 individuals would get benefitted out of the scheme and the number would keep on rising with the registration of more and more FPOs, she informed.