Ushering in a new chapter in the Indian cooperative movement, Parshottam Rupala, Union State Minister formally inaugurated the ‘Cooperative Development Forum’ at a simple yet elegant function at the NCUI headquarters in Delhi on Monday.
Leaders like Suresh Prabhu, Satish Marathe, Dr U S Awasthi, Dr Chandra Pal Singh Yadav, Dr Uday Joshi and others cheered him up. It was a day of the birth of a co-op body which if nurtured well, could prove to be a game-changer and make co-operative a buzz word not only for the government but also for the youth, CDF Chairman Suresh Prabhu underlined, saying the new cooperative body aims to make India a 5 to 10 trillion-dollar economy.
Elaborating on the aims and objectives of ‘Cooperative Development Forum’, Suresh Prabhu said Prime Minister’s dream of making India zoom past into the top bracket of developed nations is achievable through the co-operative model and CDF would prove that.
Prabhu and his CDF team have already held pre-consultations on the agenda with all the stakeholders including agriculture minister, finance minister and even Nabard Chairman. “I have also sounded out Finance Secretary Tarun Bajaj on the issue”, revealed Prabhu.
The fact that CDF is aiming to position itself at an effective level is obvious from the fact that Suresh Prabhu, who was rated high on performance during his tenure as Union Power Minister, has even discussed the issue of economic administrative governance with the newly appointed General Secretary of RSS Dattatreya Hosabale.
Giving the co-operative sector an enabling framework to grow is the aim of CDF, declared Prabhu. CDF would focus on the challenges of each co-operative sector– be it sugar, spinning, fertilizer or dairy or any other. “We will sit down with co-operators of the sector and wreck our brain to find a solution sooner than later”, Prabhu sounded impatient.
CDF will also work for the implementation of all the central schemes through PACS which are about a lakh in number in the country. Linking PACS to the PM’s vision can do wonders for the rural economy, Prabhu sounded excited at the future prospects.
Prabhu also aims to catapult the subject co-operative to the World Economic Forum-the highest body of business in the world. The Sec-Gen of WEF is coming to India and we should raise the issue of giving co-op a place in the global economic debate, he underlined.
Listing other priorities of CDF, the newly appointed Chairman said the image-makeover of co-op is an important task before the new body as is the task of ensuring uniform co-operative laws across the states. He also announced the setting up of a CDF branch office in each state headquarters with the help of area MLAs.
While formally inaugurating the CDF, Union Minister Parshottam Rupala revealed that in a recent meeting, the govt has mulled over the issue of strengthening co-operatives. Assuring all govt support, Rupala asked co-operators to be agents of change by exploiting schemes like the Infrastructure Fund solely meant for post-harvest.
Rupala asked the newly formed CDF to focus on challenges before each and every co-op sector such as dairy, fisheries, sugar or spinning. He also assured that the govt would think over the issue of DCCB mergers and a national policy would be made to save them. Rupala also asked cooperative leaders to make the sector attractive enough for the youth to join.
Dr Chandra Pal in his speech said that with the setting up of CDF several doubts of co-operators could be resolved. He cited the case of the recently amended BR Act and also said CDF could push the implementation of 97th CAA. Multi State Co-op amendment which is on the cards and CDF can play an important role in placing co-operators’ concern before the government.
While Marathe briefly narrated the danger of merging co-op banks and doing away with the mainstay of district development known as DCCB, Uday Joshi anchored the program.
Dr U S Awasthi, IFFCO MD who sat silently on the dais throughout the proceedings, later said to Indian Cooperative “it is time to act than to speak”. It bears recall that the first idea of CDF germinated in Awasthi’s mind which he spoke out at a virtual seminar of Sahakar Bharati. Even Monday’s show had a stamp of IFFCO’s touch with Tarun Bhargav running here and there to tie up the loose ends.
There were several co-operators sitting in the audience including ICA-AP RD Balu Iyer, D N Thakur, NCUI CE Sudhir Mahajan, Sahakar Bharati President Ramesh Vaidya, Organizing Secretary Sanjay Pachpor, IFFCO Marketing head Yogendra Kumar, Surat DCCB Chairman Nareshbhai Patel, Uttarakhand SCB Chairman Dan Singh Rawat among others.