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National Cooperative Conference was organised by the Indian cooperative movement under the leadership of NCUI and IFFCO to welcome the Union Minister of Home Affairs & Minister of Cooperation, Shri Amit Shah on 25 September 2021.


Mr. Amit Shah attended the National Cooperative Conference in New Delhi as the Chief Guest. The President of the International Cooperative Alliance, Mr. Ariel Guarco was also one of the Chief Guests on this occasion. The Union Minister of State for Cooperation, Mr. B. L. Verma; Secretary, Ministry of Cooperation and Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare; and ICA members including IFFCO, NCUI, National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED), Krishak Bharati Cooperative Ltd. (KRIBHCO) and others were also present.


The event was attended by more than 2,100 members of the Indian cooperative movement and reached around 60 million people through the online medium.


Mr. Shah expressed his views on ‘Sahakar se Samriddhi’ (Prosperity through Cooperation) mission of the Government of India. He said the cooperative sector will also give full thrust to fulfil the goal of a US $5 trillion Indian economy. In his address, Mr. Shah remembered and acknowledged those luminaries who supported the cooperative movement like Madhavrao Godbole, Baikunthbhai Mehta, Tribhuvandas Patel, Vitthalrao Vikhe Patil, Yashwantrao Chavan, Dhananjayrao Gadgil, and Laxmanrao Inamdar.




Calling upon successful cooperatives, the Ministry of Cooperation (MoC) will strengthen cooperative institutions, bring transparency, modernize and computerize them and create competitive cooperatives. Mr. Shah said that today, there are about 91% villages in the country, where some cooperative organization works, which is not the case anywhere else in the world. There are more than 8,55,000 registered cooperative societies, more than 17 national level cooperative unions, 33 state-level cooperative banks, and 363 district level cooperative banks. In a way, there is one PACS for every ten villages which is a great achievement and farmer welfare can be achieved through these PACS.


In 2021-22, the 75th year of India’s independence, a new cooperative policy will be put in place. The Ministry will strengthen the PACS as 65,000 PACS is a small number for six lakh villages and a target will be set to have PACS in every second village within the next 5 years. To increase this number from 65,000 to 3 lakhs, the MoC will prepare a proper legal roadmap and arrangements will be made for skill development. The role of credit societies will be further strengthened so that even the smallest person can get credit. Mr. Shah noted that the MoC will ensure priority lending by working with all the ministries to enhance the role of cooperatives in all priority sector lending. Transparency has to be brought in training, skill development, recruitment, and elections to take the cooperatives forward or else we will be outdated. He said that the MoC is moving forward to set up a Common Service Center and creating a database.



Mr. Guarco expressed his happiness on the establishment of the new Ministry of Cooperation for the first time since the independence of India. He said that he was hopeful to know that the new Ministry has in its hands the opportunity to strengthen the cooperative model together with the Indian cooperative movement and thus contribute to the prosperity of India. He noted that this will consolidate the rich trajectory of the Indian Cooperative movement in the face of the G20 Presidency that India will assume in 2022.


Mr. Shah assured Mr. Guarco that India's cooperative sector can become a platform for sharing good practices across the world.


Mr. Guarco's address can be watched here.  


President Guarco also visited the Taj Mahal during his trip to India and said that he was surprised to see his big posters on the way!


He utilised this opportunity to visit the ICA-AP regional office in New Delhi and meet the staff, officials at the MoC, and the ICA members in India. During interaction with the staff, he touched upon experiences from his life and pressed upon the need to stay connected with one’s roots to be a true cooperator! He shared his views on the people as the centre of cooperative model, youth inclusion and gender equality in cooperatives.




President Guarco met Mr. Abhay Kumar, Joint Secretary, MoC and Dr. K.K. Tripathy, Officer on Special Duty, MoC and offered support from ICA and ICA-AP. A meeting of all ICA members in India with President Guarco was organised at the NCUI headquarters. It gave an opportunity to each member organisation to introduce and showcase their work to the President both in-person and online. Mr. Guarco was happy to see the enthusiasm of the Indian cooperative movement and expressed his satisfaction over the formal recognition of Indian cooperatives with the creation of a new Ministry.


The day ended with an exchange of ideas and synergies for the growth and development of Indian cooperatives.