Cooperative sector has immense potential: Amit Shah

e-launches onboarding of cooperatives on GeM portal
Union Home Minister Amit Shah addresses at the onboarding programme of cooperative societies on the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) portal, in New Delhi on Tuesday.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah addresses at the onboarding programme of cooperative societies on the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) portal, in New Delhi on Tuesday.ANI

New Delhi: Launching the onboarding of cooperatives on the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) portal, Union Home and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah here Tuesday said that the cooperative sector in India had immense potential.

A statement of the Press Information Bureau (PIB) issued here said that in his address Shah said that the day was very important in Indian history.

“In 1942, on August 9, Gandhiji began the Quit India Movement against the British rule and today another important task is taking place on the occasion of ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ on August 9, in which access to GeM has been given to cooperative societies in the country,” he said.

Shah said there was immense potential in the cooperative sector and the GeM portal would be a very useful platform for the expansion of this sector.

The Union Minister of Cooperation said most of the units of the government buy through GeM and urged the cooperatives to start preparing for registration for supply on GeM to increase their market.

He also appealed to the National Cooperative Union of India (NCUI) to expand the marketing of cooperatives saying that for this there could be no better way than the GeM.

The Cooperation Minister said this sector had been neglected since Independence, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi was accelerating its expansion with historic reforms and modernisation.

“Under the leadership of Modi, the Ministry of Cooperation has taken several measures for expansion and in the last year the ministry has been continuously working on 25 to 30 initiatives,” he said.

Shah said that the government had to expand cooperatives but there was no database and the ministry was also creating a national-level database of different categories of cooperatives.

“Arrangements for training will also be made available,” he said.

Shah said an export house was also being registered, the work for which would be completed by December.

“It will provide a platform for export from cooperatives across the country,” he said. “Radical changes are also being made in the Multistate Cooperative Act and the government led by Narendra Modi has also decided to computerise all PACS.”

Shah said that the population size was a great advantage in an economy as the population was also the market.

“Till 2014, India’s population was 130 crore, but the market was only 60 crore, as 70 crore people did not have purchasing capacity. Sixty crore people worried about their next meal and other basic needs and generations went through the same ordeal. Prime Minister Narendra Modi opened bank accounts, provided gas cylinders, toilets, electricity, pure drinking water, and food grains free of cost to the poor and as a result awakened the aspirations of these 60 crore people by fulfilling their basic needs and cooperatives have the potential to fulfill all these aspirations. Today, after fulfilling their primary needs, these people have ambitions to move ahead in life by earning more money and through cooperatives, they can fulfill these ambitions,” he said.

Shah said if these 60 crore people have just Rs 5,000, they could run the biggest of cooperatives.

Giving the example of Amul, he said, “Today, this cooperative has crossed a turnover of Rs 60,000 crore and 20 lakh women members are not only running the cooperative but have also been making profits for many years.”

The Union Cooperation Minister said that the cooperative model was a model in which even with limited capital people could come together and undertake large tasks easily.

He said that the earlier cooperative model did not have much potential, but PM Modi had awakened the aspirations of 60 crore people.

Shah said that if a system does not change itself with the times, then it becomes outdated, and it was necessary to improve the cooperative system for the expansion of the sector.

“India’s cooperative system is 115-year-old. The laws are also very old. Though small changes have taken place from time to time, radical changes and modernisation according to the times have not taken place,” he said.

Shah said now the cooperative sector could not be given a second class treatment but there was a need to bring about change and to move in the direction of bringing transparency and for cooperatives to prepare themselves for change.

“The GeM portal will be very useful in bringing in transparency in the cooperative sector and when there is transparency, the trust of farmers and milk producers will also increase on the committees and their members,” he said. “By bringing the GeM portal, PM Modi has brought in transparency in government procurement. This is a new system, and there may be some initial administrative problems, but no one should doubt the intention of bringing in this new system.”

Shah said that it was very important to bring transparency in three areas within cooperatives - elections, recruitment, and purchase.

“There can be no better medium than the GeM to bring transparency in procurement,” he said.

The Union Minister of Cooperation said he was confident that the world would recognise this successful model of transparent government procurement in the next 5 years.

Shah said he was optimistic about the future of GeM’s journey under the leadership of Union Minister for Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal.

He said most of the 589 committees to be added that have a turnover of about Rs 100 crore are of the state government and to date 289 of them had joined while 45 of the 54 multi-state cooperatives too had joined, which was a huge achievement.

“Also more than 10,000 products and more than 288 services have been listed. Till now business worth Rs 2.78 lakh thousand crore had also been completed which was a huge achievement of the GeM,” Shah said.

The programme was organised by the Ministry of Cooperation, Government of India, the National Cooperative Union of India (NCUI), and GeM and attended by Union Minister of State for Cooperation and North East Region Development B L Verma and the NCUI President Dilip Sanghani.

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