Cooperatives not J&K Govt's priority, says Minister Dorjay

‘2,000 societies defunct due to mismanagement, lack of funds’

At a time when Jammu and Kashmir is grappling with growing unemployment rate, thanks to state government apathy that 2,000 out of 3,000 registered cooperative societies, aimed at creating employment, are presently defunct, official sources say. 

When Greater Kashmir contacted the concerned minister to ask about the reason for turning of these societies defunct, he said cooperatives is not the state government’s priority.   

“It is a fact that 2,000 cooperative societies in J&K are defunct, which is unfortunate. But there are various reasons responsible for them and one among them is that Cooperative Department is the least priority of the government,” said Minister for Cooperatives Chering Dorjay.

“Seriousness of the government towards this important sector can be gauged by the fact that government allocates meager Rs 5 crore for the department. Even budget announcement of recapitalising three cooperative banks was not fulfilled,” he said.

However, he also said the untoward situation and corruption during last few decades have too made an impact on these societies and added modalities are being worked out to revive the fortunes of cooperative societies.

As per official records, there are around 3000 cooperative societies registered with Jammu and Kashmir Cooperatives Department. These cooperatives have been set up after a group of people united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned controlled enterprise. The Cooperatives Department has facilitated their loans through cooperative banks.

However, the number of cooperative societies has decreased over the years despite having huge potential for employment generation in Jammu and Kashmir.

“These societies were aimed at employment generation to curb the menace of unemployment. Initially these societies were successful in providing livelihood to people. However, post eruption of turmoil coupled with callous approach of the government towards this sector many societies have defaulted,” said a senior government official.

“In some cases under political influence rules were flouted to favor blue-eyed candidates which ruined the department and piled up the list of defaulters,” he added.