The hilly state of Himanchal Pradesh organized an impressive cooperative conference on Monday which was inaugurated by Chief Minister Jairam Thakur and attended by more than 600 delegates from across the state. Co-op minister Dr Rajiv Saizwal and secretary co-operatives Dr R N Batta were also present on the occasion, among others.
Satish Marathe, patron of Sahakar Bharati was invited to give a keynote address. Updating is FB status he wrote” Reached Venue of Himachal State Co-op Convention. Hon Sh Jairamji Thakur, CM will preside over the Convention. Dr Rajiv Saizal, Coop Minister has convened this Convention of CoOps & CoOperators. I will deliver Keynote address at the Convention”.
Speaking on the occasion, what must have sounded music to Sahakar Bharati officials’ ears including Marathe, the CM said an urgent need to reformulate co-op acts is being felt as archaic rules are no longer in tune with the fast moving times.
It bears recall that Sahakar Bharati have petitioned more than a dozen CMs across India on the issue and as recently as last week in Patna it requested the Bihar govt to make co-op acts consistent with the 97th amendment and the spirit of the time.
Himanchal Chief Minister not only promised to modify co-op acts but also talked of elevating the co-op sector to the status of an engine of growth for the state-generating employment and alleviating poverty. Thakur also seemed curious to know how co-ops can be used to promote tourism in the state and sought experts’ help in the matter.
In his keynote address Marathe reeled off statistics of co-ops in the country and said there is a need to diversify the sector which is mostly active in the agricultural sector. It is high time co-operative made a foray into manufacturing and service sectors as corporates do, Marathe underlined.
A votary of increasing the shelf life of agri-produce which can help farmers get good price Marathe also mooted the idea of small mobile processing units for value addition of agri-produce. “Ensuring MSP alone cannot change the income standards of farmers”, he explained.
Speaking on the occasion, State Co-op Minister Dr Rajiv Sizwal revealed that it was Una where in 1892 the first national co-operative came into being. He also asked the assembled people to ponder how did the state become a laggard later on.
Those present on the occasion included Virender Kashyap, MP, Paramjit Singh MLA, K.L. Thakur, State Organizational Secretary, Pawan Rana, Daisy Thakur, Miss Rashim Dhar Sood and several other BJP leaders.