Supporting the recommendations of Vaidyanathan Committee, the second national convention of Sahakar Bharati held in New Delhi from November 10 to 12, has demanded immediate implementation of the committee'srecommendations in all the states to get the cooperative sector rid of the clutches of politicians and unwanted elements. The Vaidyanathan Committee was founded by the Central Government to study the condition of the cooperative sector. Madhya Pradesh is the first state that has implemented the recommendations. ?The Vaidyanathan Committee'srecommendations are sanjivani for the Indian farmers and cooperative sector. The profile of the country that it has presented in its report is an eye opener for the administrators and policymakers of the country. It has made highly praiseworthy and practical recommendations. For example, if any loss occurs in the cooperative society due to office bearers that will be charged from them only. It also stressed on making the cooperative sector autonomous and independent,? said Shri Suryakant Kelkar, organising secretary of Sahakar Bharati.
Like the Vaidynathan Committee, the Sahakar Bharati has also demanded the constitution of another similar committee by the central government to study the cooperative rural credit system. Demanding a separate development fund of Rs 1000 crore for the help of weaker urban cooperative banks, the Sahakar Bharati came down heavily on the Union Finance Ministry for withdrawing tax concession from such banks. It said the imposition of tax on such banks would further weaken them. The convention praised the work of 50,000 cooperative credit societies and noted that they have been serving crores of poor and middle-class people in the remote areas. The convention strongly opposed the undue interference by the Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Kerala Governments in the functioning of such societies. The convention also demanded rationalisation of the procedure for setting up a cooperative credit society.
About the 40,000 odd consumer stores across the country, the convention said that about 8,000 of them are running in loss. The convention demanded implementation of the Cooperative Autonomous Law by all the states with immediate effect and also grant of rebate to the consumer stores in Value Added Tax. The convention urged the state governments to provide land on concessional rates to set up consumer stores.
Founded in 1979 at Mumbai, the Sahakar Bharati is the only all India organisation of cooperative sector. About 3,000 delegates from 22 states of the country participated in the convention. The new national executive of Sahakar Bharati for the year 2006 to 2009 was also announced at the convention. Shri Jyotindra-bhai Mehta was elected new president and Shri Vishnu Bobare as general secretary. Shri Mehta was vice president of Sahakar Bharati earlier. Shri A. Sardesai, member of the Vaidyanathan Committee, spoke in detail about the recommendations of the Committee and he apprised the delegates how these recommendations would benefit the cooperative sector.
After honouring 12 people for their outstanding contribution in the cooperative sector, former Union Minister Shri Suresh Prabhu expressed concern over the growing water crisis all over the world. ?The water level is rapidly declining and in such a situation people through cooperative, need to adopt the water conservation as a movement. Despite being 70 per cent water over the earth the scarcity of drinking and irrigation water shows there is definitely lack of coordination between people and the nature,? he said praising the Sahakar Bharati for its initiatives in the field of water conservation. He said those who are doing good work in the cooperative sector must be encouraged.
Shri Satish Marathe, joint organising secretary of Sahakar Bharati and an expert of cooperative sector, said Sahakar Bharati is imparting samskar to those who are working in the cooperative sector. ?If there are committed people in the cooperative societies, there will be no loss. We believe that without samskar there is cooperative and without cooperative there is not upliftment. No matter the government today talks about 8 per cent GDP, the common man is still deprived of its benefits. We hope the common man should take benefit through the cooperative societies and for that we completely accept the Vaidyanathan committee recommendations,? he said further adding that there should be consensus among all the political parties from Left to BJP over the cooperative.
Shri Jyotindrabhai Mehta described the cooperative as a public movement in which poor and middle class people are involved. He said the cooperative sector has the capacity to change the economic picture of the country. ?There is a need to bring professionalism and new technology in this sector. We need to work with the feeling of trusteeship,? he said.
Shri Bhupendra Singh Churasama, Cooperative Minister of Gujarat, said Gujarat has principally accepted the Vaidyanathan Committee recommendations and the government would sign the MoU in this regard soon. Earlier on November 10, Shri Madan Dilawar, Cooperative Minister of Rajasthan, inaugurated an exhibition at the convention ground. He warned against the growing influence of multinational companies in the rural areas. Dr Avinash Acharya, former president of Sahakar Bharati demanded amendment in the Cooperative Law.