Suresh Prabhu, Chairman of the National Level Committee for Drafting the New National Cooperation Policy, made a comprehensive presentation to Union Home Minister and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah on Monday. The committee members briefed Minister Shah on the objectives, vision, and mission of the draft policy, as well as key recommendations in various sectors. The highly anticipated New Cooperation Policy is expected to be unveiled in July 2023 after consultation with all stakeholders, including state governments, central ministries/departments, and National Cooperatives.
Formation of the National Level Committee
The National Level Committee for Drafting the New National Cooperation Policy was established on 2nd September 2022, under the leadership of the Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation Amit Shah. Chaired by Shri Suresh Prabhu, a former Union Minister, the committee consists of 49 members representing various stakeholders such as cooperation department officers from state governments, central government ministries/departments, institutions like IRMA and RBI, and national federations like IFFCO and NAFED. It also includes representatives from cooperative societies, academicians, and experts.
Extensive Consultation Process
The process of developing the new National Cooperation Policy began with discussions at the conference of State Cooperation Secretaries and Cooperation Ministers in April and September 2022, respectively. Over 500 suggestions were received from stakeholders and the general public for the draft policy document.
Since its formation, the National Level Committee has held more than eight meetings and conducted consultations with various stakeholders to shape the draft document.
Vision and Objectives of the New National Cooperation Policy
The Ministry stated that the new National Cooperation Policy aims to realize Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of 'Sehkaar se Samriddhi.' It strives to strengthen the cooperative movement in India, deepen its reach up to the grassroots, promote cooperative-based economic development, and establish an appropriate policy, legal, and institutional framework to unlock the potential of cooperatives.
Significance and Key Features
The New National Cooperation Policy holds great significance as it will provide a separate administrative, legal, and policy framework to strengthen the cooperative movement in the country. It aims to streamline processes for the "Ease of doing business" for cooperatives and facilitate the development of Multi-State Cooperatives (MSCS). By deepening cooperatives as a true people-based movement, the policy aims to address the economic, social, and cultural needs of the citizens.
Cooperatives in India and Constitutional Provisions
Cooperatives are autonomous associations of individuals voluntarily working together to meet common economic, social, and cultural needs. The Constitution (97th Amendment) Act, 2011 introduced provisions for cooperatives in India, recognizing them as a fundamental right of citizens.
Article 43B in the Directive Principles of State Policy promotes cooperative societies. The subject of cooperative societies falls under the jurisdiction of state governments.
With the advancements in technology, cooperative societies have a crucial role to play in familiarizing people with new areas and technologies. The cooperative movement, founded on the principles of unity and anonymity, has the potential to address people's problems effectively. To strengthen cooperatives,
it is essential to establish rules and ensure their strict implementation. Additionally, creating market linkages for agricultural farmers and cooperative societies will further enhance their growth and impact.
The New National Cooperation Policy is poised to reshape the cooperative landscape in India, empowering citizens and enabling sustainable economic development. With the collective efforts of the National Level Committee and extensive consultations with stakeholders, the policy aims to foster a thriving cooperative movement aligned with the nation's vision for progress and prosperity.