The 47th IFFCO Annual General meeting was held with élan at NCUI’s campus on Wednesday with hundreds of shareholders from across the country walking down the NCUI campus with an assured sense that their money is growing without them doing anything. The confidence of the farmers was due to the fact that IFFCO posted the highest ever profit crossing Rs 1200 mark and announced a dividend of 20 percent yet again and 17th times in a row.
Besides, IFFCO perhaps also became the first cooperative in the country to fulfill the vision enshrined in the famed 97th Constitutional Amendment (lying in limbo in court cases) by reserving 5 percent seat for the women in its RGB. The next RGB would see more and more participation of women as we have reserved seats for them, announced a proud B S Nakai in his presidential speech.
The AGM-first after the Golden Jubilee was also noteworthy in the sense that it decided to continue with 20 per cent dividend at least for the next 50 years. And this was not hyperbole. Explaining the mathematics MD Dr U S Awasthi talked of a Fund created with this aim and which have already seen an accumulation of Rs 4000 crore so far. “We would continue to build this Fund to ensure that shareholders get 20 per cent dividend uninterrupted”, stated Awasthi.
AGM also deliberated on what next after the first 50 years. Its Managing Director Dr U S Awasthi emphasized that the farming that we know today is in for an overhaul and we should prepare otherwise we risk being consigned to the dustbin of history. He underscored the significance of new technologies, bio-fertilizer, Nano fertilizer, IFFCO Bazar and the like to face the challenges of the future.
Awasthi also mentioned several other new initiatives IFFCO has taken in recent years such as signing MoU with the Sikkim govt to launch organic product, his plans to rope in a foreign company to link the farmers of the country to the agro-processing sector and others.
The IFFCO MD also urged the IFFCO employees to remain ever alert in their service to the farmers of the country. Valuing transparency in managerial matters, he said IFFCO is generous with handsome emoluments to its employees and salaries are revised at regular intervals by the Employees Union itself.
But the AGM also noted a nervousness among delegates regarding the future of IFFCO after Awasthi- a manager par excellence who has been responsible for its phenomenal success especially in terms of massive profits the cooperative has invariably posted. It is because of this there was a thunderous applause when IFFCO Chairman B S Nakai proposed that Awasthi should continue as MD till his health permits or at least till 2025. Supporting the agenda in unison the AGM also decided to request the govt for honouring its MD with Padma Award-an issue which crops up frequently in the IFFCO meetings these days.
IFFCO MD also informed the delegates that the co-op organization follows the strictest auditing norms possible and said the Auditor had to concede this time that IFFCO’s audit could possibly be rivaled only by the -Reliance and Bajaj Services.
Several delegates also spoke on the occasion and congratulated IFFCO Directors in general and the MD in particular for the spectacular growth of the cooperative behemoth. The newly inducted Director on the Board Dileep Sanghani proposed a vote of thanks.