Nepal’s minister for land management, cooperatives and poverty alleviation Padma Kumari Aryal has urged the country’s co-ops to invest in setting up industries to boost the economy.
The industrial pace of development in Nepal has lagged behind its neighbors’ and the Minister’s statement assumes importance in this light, say journalists covering Nepal.
According to a report the major types of co-operative societies operating in Nepal are Saving and Credit, Multipurpose, Dairy, Agriculture, Fruits and Vegetables, Bee Keeping, Tea, Coffee, Consumers, Science and Technology, and Energy.
It is believed that around 6 million people are the members of 34,512 cooperatives and more than 60,517 people are employed directly in Cooperative businesses. “Cooperatives cover nearly 40 percent of districts of Nepal and these operate through agri co-ops, credit co-ops and other forms empowering women in the Himalayan country”, said Ramila Shrestha Sakya who came for co-op training at NCUI in India recently.
Earlier, Nepal organized a Cooperative Congress which was inaugurated by Napalese Prime of Minister K.P. Sharma Oli. The Prime Minister reiterated his govt’s commitment to the cooperative movement. The event drew a multitude of delegates including those from foreign lands.
Representatives of ICA (Ariel Guarco, President), ICA A-P (Balu Aiyer, RD), NCUI (President Dr Chandra Pal Singh Yadav), ILO, SAARC countries, Japan and Indonesia and several others participated in the event.
Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister Oli said Nepal is committed to development and it regards cooperative as an effective tool. Several ministers and former ministers including Pushpa Kamal Dahal, former Prime Minister were present in the closing ceremony.
Chairperson of the Nepal Cooperative Federation Keshav Badal urged the government to bring in the cooperative rules and bylaws as soon as possible. The first Co-operative Act in Nepal was brought in by the government in 1960. It has since been amended several times and the beginning of 80s saw a new generation of community-based savings and credit groups.
Recently, the Nepalese Government has honored Chairman of National Cooperative Federation (NCF) of Nepal Keshav Prasad Badal and NCF Vice-Chairman and ICA Global Board Member Om Devi Malla with the “Su Prabal Janasewa Shree Bibhusan”.
It bears recall that Om Devi Malla had annexed a seat on the board of International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) a couple of years ago amidst a tough fight.