UNION MINISTRY OF COOPERATION
Recently, the Union ministry of Cooperation was set up by the Central Government of India, to achieve the aim of Sahkari Samriddhi(Prosperity through Cooperation) and to give a new force to the working of the cooperative movement.
It also fulfils based on the budget announcement made by the Finance Ministry in 2021.
SIGNIFICANCE OF MINISTRY OF COOPERATION
It is going to provide a new administration, new legal and policy framework, which will strengthen the cooperative movement in the country.
In the words of the Multi-State Co-operatives Society(MSCS) – “It will help deepen Co-operatives as a true people-based movement reaching up to the grassroots. In our country, a Co-operative based economic development model is very relevant where each member works with a spirit of responsibility. The Ministry will work to streamline processes for ‘Ease of doing business’ for co-operatives and enable the development of Multi-State Co-operatives (MSCS)”.
In layman language, MSCS said that a cooperative society is an authentic source of development of a nation, where every member of a cooperative society works with a good spirit of responsibility. So, this Ministry is going to provide ease of doing business for cooperatives and ultimately develop MSCS.
WHAT ARE COOPERATIVES?
According to ILO – “A cooperative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise.”
Now, there are many types of Cooperatives, such as Consumer Cooperative Society, Credit Cooperative Society, Product Cooperative Society, Marketing Cooperative Society.
You may have heard about Farmers Producers Company(FPO), which is a hybrid of Cooperative and private society.
The United Nations General Assembly has announced the year 2012, as the International Day of Cooperatives.
CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS FOR COOPERATIVES
- CONSTITUTION 97th AMENDMENT ACT, 2011
This amendment has added a part IX-B to the existing part IX-A(Municipals). It talks about the working of Cooperatives in India.
- CONSTITUTION PART III – FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS – ARTICLE 19(1)(C)
This article allows all the citizens to form cooperatives by providing it with a status of the fundamental rights of citizens.
- CONSTITUTION PART IV – DIRECTIVES PRINCIPLES OF STATE POLICY – ARTICLE 43(B)
It is for the promotion of Cooperative Societies.
WHAT IS COOPERATIVE MOVEMENT
The Cooperative was first started in Europe, and then the British government founded it in India to reduce the distress of the poor farmers, who are harassed by the Moneylenders.
Cooperative Societies came into existence when the farmers of Pune and Ahmednagar(Maharashtra) started protesting against the money lenders, who are charging a very high rate of interest.
TIMELINE OF COOPERATIVE MOVEMENT
- British Government passed three acts
- The Deccan Agricultural Relief Act(1879)
- Land Improvement Loan Act(1883)
- Agriculturalist Loan Act(1884)
- The First Credit Cooperative Society was formed in 1903.
- Enactment of Cooperatives Credit Societies Act, 1904.
- In 1919, provinces were authorised to formulate cooperative laws under Montague – Chelmsford Reforms.
- In 1942, the Government of British India unveiled the Multi-Unit Cooperative Societies Act.
- After Independence, cooperatives became a part of 5-year plans.
- In 1958, the National Development Council(NDC) recommended the National policy on Cooperatives.
- In 1984, the Parliament of India enacted the Multi-State Cooperative Societies Act.
- The GOI announced or enacted a National Policy on Cooperatives in 2002.
IMPORTANCE OF COOPERATIVES
- Provides agricultural credit and funds
- Poor can solve their problems collectively
- Reduces the bureaucratic evils and political interference