Being the apex body of cooperatives NCUI’s AGM represents the microcosm of cooperative movement in the country. Views and ideas expressed here have ramifications beyond a particular sector of cooperative. Sensing this, on this occasion NCUI’s President Dr Chandra Pal Singh Yadav invited delegates to voice their views, if any before the august assembly. There were several speakers from different sectors of co-operative who chose to speak.
Konkodi Padmanabha, the former President of CAMPCO said credit co-ops of Karnataka are getting notices from Income Tax despite them being exempt under 80p. “If we do not stand by them today, the notices would start coming to you also in other states”, he warned.
Padmanabha also batted for a representation of NCUI (cooperative) on the board of NABARD and lamented that the recommendations of the Vaidyanathan Committee are not being followed faithfully.
President of WWF and Indian Cooperative Network for Women (ICNW) Nandini Azad thanked NCUI for organizing condolence meetings on the demise of her mother Jaya Arunachalam who was a formidable co-operator from South India. She also recounted how cooperatives and co-operators from different parts of the world expressed sorrow for her mother’s demise and she thanked them for their sympathetic words.
Nandini also exhorted co-operators to look positively at the current economic slow-down and said if it presents a challenge, it also offers an opportunity to us to prove the worth of the cooperative model. She also batted for more representation of women in the co-operative decision making and drew a parallel with growing percentage of women in electoral politics.
Fishcopfed MD B K Mishra thanked NCUI for standing by fisheries cooperatives on the issue of having a separate Ministry. He reminded that fisheries contribute 1 % to overall GDP. There are more than 20 thousand co-ops involved in fisheries and training them is a big challenge, Mishra said.
“There is a need to enhance capacity building of training centres. More focus needs to be given for the weaker sections in cooperatives. He also raised the point that primary cooperatives should be treated on par with FPOs in getting the govt support, Mishra said.
Mishra also batted for the idea of NCUI working together with members to organize national conferences in various sectors of cooperatives. Lastly, he demanded social security measures for cooperative members including the pension scheme to be implemented through cooperatives.
Jai Kumar of Tumkur Merchants Credit Co- Operative Ltd. from Karnataka felt that training is not keeping pace with the fast growth of co-op sector. He wanted NCUI to develop a vision document for the next 10 years on the lines of NITI Aayog. Tumkur Co-op Bank also handed a cheque towards the Education Fund to NCUI on the occasion.
Karnataka State Souharda Federal Cooperative Ltd MD Sharangowda G. Patil offered to give training to co-operators on behalf of NCUI in southern states. The Federation has a huge network to do the job, Patil claimed.