Every cooperator belonging to Maharashtra takes pride in the fact that the state has the highest number of co-operatives in the country. But this strength does not help it when it comes to getting clearance for a project from the centrally controlled NCDC.
Despite the best of intentions NCDC-the funding agency for co-operatives fails to help fishermen was obvious from a recent seminar organized by Fishcopfed at Sarita Vihar in Delhi.
Poor fishermen have become a shuttlecock between State govts and NCDC, was the general consensus on the occasion.
Titled “empowerment of fisheries co-ops through blue revolution”, it also saw a NCDC representative putting up a slide show detailing how NCDC can help them.
Soon after the presentation one of the delegates from Maharashtra asked why is it so that for the past three years not a single project of fisheries co-operative from Maharashtra has not been passed. While NCDC blames it on the state govt, the state leaders blame it on the former.
The funding rule of NCDC is so tight that it can give loan to an individual only when the state govt stands guarantee for him. And why should the state govt. bother for poor fishermen, said delegates at the conference. The politicians would always say us “see, we are eager to help you but it’s NCDC which is not coming forward”, said one of the delegates from Maharashtra.
NCDC can give loan directly only in cases where a co-operative is in profit for three consecutive years and has enough assets to pledge. Poor fishermen somehow fail to fit the bill, one of them rued. “if we are in profit, do we need loans?”
But the blind govt and callous NCDC are happy with their stringent rule which ultimately benefit only those who are already rich. However, .it is sad to see the Union Agriculture Minister still indulging in glib talks about scores of schemes he has launched after taking over, lamented a cooperator.