A Tax Consultant by profession Shri Jyotindrabhai Mehta, the newly elected president of Sahakar Bharati, is associated with the cooperative sector for the last 30 years. His ability in this sector can be gauged from the fact that the Rajkot Urban Cooperative Bank, of which Shri Mehta is chairman for the last five years, has zero per cent NPA. Recently he has also been elected president of Gujarat Urban Cooperative Banks Federation. He is director of Saurashtra Urban Cooperative Banks Federation and National Urban Cooperative Bank, New Delhi. In an interview to Organiser he spoke about the cooperative sector of the country. Excerpts:
What challenges do you feel before the cooperative sector of India?
The cooperative sector in India is the biggest sector in the world. Existence of cooperative banks in India is of more than 100 years. But it was legalised in 1904 with the enactment of Cooperative Act. You will be surprised to know that in Baroda a cooperative bank is 176 years old. Before the birth of Cooperative Act and banking revolution, the cooperative banks have been here. At that time there was not even the licensing policy. But within these 100 years the world has changed enough. New innovations have taken place and a new system of business administration has come into practice.
How will you restore the shaking confidence of people in cooperative sector?
At one point of time the confidence had shaken. But things are improving now. Since the Madhavpura incident that took place in March 2001, lot of improvement is there. People have known how to deal or tackle the situation. People are learning and improving themselves.
What would be your priorities as the new president?
Sahakar Bharati would play a vital role in coming days. Whatever things happened, have happened. They happened because of the wrong persons. Now Sahakar Bharati is working in a particular direction. We believe that without samskar, there is no cooperation. We are promoting the cultured and committed people who can work with the feeling of trusteeship and have the idea that we are serving the society. Such people trained by the Sahakar Bharati will improve the situation. We shall take the work of Sahakar Bharati in all those regions where we have yet to reach.
In how many states do you have work?
Delegates from 22 states have attended the convention this time. Excluding five states of northeast region where insurgency has destabilised peace, we have work in all the states including Assam, Sikkim and Andamans. We have a team of 20,000 odd dedicated workers.