The Agriculture Ministry officials led by Additional Secretary Vasudha Mishra sat with the team of NCUI and NCCT recently to resolve the issues of fund crunch in the latter. The meeting produced no practical solution, official sources said.
The fund-starved National Centre of Cooperative Training (NCCT) is running from pillar to post to stay afloat because of dwindling reserves and no prospect of fund-replenishment.
While NCUI was represented by its Chief Executive and one V K Dubey, NCCT was present in full strength with four of its officials and their assistants. Additional Secretary, Joint Secretary and several other ministry officials heard their tale of woe and tried to impress upon the NCUI officials to release fund.
NCUI’s officials who had no power to take any decision on the spot on their own assured the Ministry officials that they would put the matter in the Governing Council for the members’ consideration. “The GC is the only competent body to take a call in such matters”, said CE N Satyanarayan to Indian Cooperative after coming out of the meeting.
NCCT sources have confided to Indian Cooperative that the initial bravado displayed by NCCT Secretary Mohan Mishra is slowly giving way to pessimism and despair as the beleaguered organization is forced to run its affairs with meager resources at its disposal. ”We are forced to break FDs to pay salaries and how far this way we can manage our things is the million dollar question.”, said one of the close aids of Mishra on condition of anonymity.
The Ministry finds itself in quandary on the issue of funding NCCT. After NCCT’s registration as a society, the Finance Ministry refused to give any fund to it. “For a society to be funded by the Federal govt, the decision is to be taken by the Union Cabinet”, reads the rule and hence no matter how hard Union Minister Radha Mohan Singh may try, the fund could not be made available to NCCT, sources add.
NCUI, on its part, has taken a convenient plea that since the matter is sub-judice it cannot give funds to NCCT. Meanwhile, several ICMs and RICMs spread across the country have begun to face issues which were not there till NCCT was part of NCUI. The news of MP state govt tightening its screw on ICM of Bhopal has already hogged the media headlines. The story is not different in two other ICMs of Bangalore and Ahmadabad, sources confide.
The NCUI leadership is also entertaining the idea of supporting NCCT on the condition of removal of Mohan Mishra as Secretary. Mishra is widely seen as the black sheep of NCUI who snitched to the Ministry about the organization. “Mishra’s goal was to create a separate empire where he would be the ruler but alas the empire is crumbling “, said one of his detractors.
The consensus view emerging among GC members is that an out of court settlement is possible if Ministry agrees to have a large NCCT Board where there would be 50:50 representation of Ministry and cooperators respectively. Mishra will have no place in this scheme of things, they reiterated. “Ministry officials will have to understand that Mishra’s talk of strengthening co-op training is only a pep-talk as the only thing he is worried for is his personal career”, they underlined
The new Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Agrawal is said to have evinced interest in resolving the matter by sitting across a table with cooperators, sources add.