Assam co-ops: Will good days return!

Notorious for ignoring co-operatives as a fact of economic activities in the state, Assam govt seems to be waking up to a new realization of let. Telegraph reports that a three-member committee has been formed in Assam to suggest measures to revive the ailing Assam State Co-operative Agricultural & Rural Development Bank.

The bank, set up in 1955, is deemed to be Assam’s first co-operative bank. The latter is facing a serious financial crisis. The committee was formed by State Innovation and Transformation Aayog (Sita), Assam, under the chairmanship of chief minister.

The revival plan will be carried out based on the committee’s suggestions.

It bears recall that the cooperative leadership of the state pinned great hopes on Sarbananda Sonowal when he took over as CM a year ago. Several co-op officials of the state are not getting even minimum wages for years and no one in the govt is ready to listen to them.

The staff members of Assam State Cooperative Union are a miserable lot having been forced to work on one-third of the salary of what they were getting till 2013.

The bad days for the State Co-op Union started with the idea of Rajiv Gandhi Cooperative University, recalls Kiran Kakati, Chairman of the union. Assam govt led by then Congress CM decided that when the University is coming up there is no need for budgetary allocation for the cooperative union.

While the University has made a mockery of itself with little interest among the students due to its poor infrastructure and paucity of faculty members , the work being done by Union is also coming to a standstill with time, says Kaketi who is also on the Board of the apex national cooperative body NCUI.

But Kaketi has not lost all hopes yet.” Sarbananda Sonowal is a clear-headed Chief Minister and he is going to bail us out’, he told this correspondent. Kakati himself belongs to the BJP fold and sets great store by his connections.

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