The inaugural session of the International Cooperative Conference went off as planned with the high and mighty of the land assembling on the occasion at Manekshaw Centre in N Delhi on Wednesday.
President of India Pratibha Devisingh Patil, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, State Minister Harish Rawat, foreign delegates, IFFCO’s Chairman and Managing Director were vying for space on the
An array of speakers touched upon the various aspects of cooperative movement. If Nabard Chairman Prakash Bakshi compared the movement to a tree whose branches are growing while its root is crying for nourishment, NCUI’s President Chandra Pal Singh Yadav expounded the benefits of cooperative governance as compared to the corporate governance.
While foreign delegates shared their international experiences, Dame Pauline Green, President of ICA, was unable to attend the event due to visa issues, however she sent her apologies to the delegates.
Talking to media on the occasion, IFFCO’s Managing Director U S Awasthi said that the need for holding this conference was felt after the United Nations declared this year as the International Year of Cooperatives. We support the movement as it helps us grow both domestically and globally.
Citing the example of IFFCO’s expansion in Canada where it is about to launch a new project Awasthi said that Canadian Cooperative movement leaders have come forward to be our business partner and a source of strength for us. Our experience is the same in Jordon where our project is doing fine, he added.
Even in India we exist on the basis of support where thousands of cooperators have joined hands to make it a success, he said.
Enumerating the weaknesses of the cooperative movement in the country, Awasthi called for setting up of a cooperative exchange on the lines of SEBI. Private sector has its exchange, Public sector the government funding but cooperative sector is in crisis beset by a shortage of capital in most of the cases, he added.
Appreciating the cooperative leaders of the country who joined hands to make this conference a success, Awasthi said that a leader’s job is to act as a catalyst and the movement would grow on its own.
However, the high security veil around the Makeshaw Centre prevented many people from making it to the function as entry was banned much before the President’s arrival. This led to many people returning from the venue with frustration writ large on their faces.
The two day function has its final session in the NCUI auditorium on Thursday. The run-down auditorium has been spruced up for the occasion.