Delivering the 16th Vaikunthbhai Mehta Memorial Lecture in Delhi on Monday organised by the National Cooperative Union of India Dr.Prakash Bakshi, Chairman of NABARD said that the role of cooperative leaders assumes added importance in present times when the cooperatives are facing rough weather.
Strengthening PACS is of paramount importance. Cooperative leaders should make it truly operational and democratic in a manner that it proves to be a one stop center for solving all kinds of need of farmers, Mr Bakshi emphasized.
If you want to be autonomous you have got to be viable. Taking help from government and demanding autonomy would not happen, he said amidst thunderous applause from assembled gathering.
For thirty years elections have not taken place in Tamil Nadu and they still call themselves cooperative.Better accept that it is like a government or fight for restoring the democratic set up. Indicating towards those present on the dais he said that It is the job of this august gathering to fight for cooperative cause. He asked “ how can you be silent?’
Whenever attempt to throttle cooperative spirit is made it the us bureaucrat who fight not the cooperative leaders. Banks take revival package from NABARD after acceding to our demand of suitable amendment .Once they get the money, they again re-amend their by laws and none of the cooperative leaders object, , he lamented.
Cooperative is my passion and it has great intellectual appeal.It attracts people globally for offering a business model where cost is less and benefits are many. Credit cooperatives with its vast network can be the important vehicle for inclusive growth in the country. He advocated growth of professionalism in primary agriculture cooperative societies (PACS).
“NABARD has formulated an institutional protection and deposit safety scheme for PACS on the lines of similar schemes operating in Germany and Hungary, he said.
He said that with ever increasing number of small and marginal farmers, and hence oral tenancy, aggregation models for financing, agronomic practices, inputs supply, use of equipment, marketing and processing were urgently required. To this end, the cooperatives can play an effective role, he said.
To us in NABARD, formation of village committees and JLGs within these village committees looked a possible step and we have already initiated such a move,” said Dr. Bakshi.
He further said, “We are also designing a programme to equip selected PACS in each district with warehouses conforming to the requirements of the Warehousing Regulatory Authority so that farmers could benefit from product aggregation, quality storage and enable him to not only take pledge loans or trade against warehousing receipts.
He urged the members of the PACS to be active participants with voting rights.
The Adviser (Agril.) to the Planning Commission Shri Surinder Singh who was the Guest of Honour said that the 12th Five Year Plan will be based on inclusive growth particularly focusing on health, food, education and employment. There will be a separate chapter for cooperative reforms. He urged the cooperatives to play a greater role in financial inclusion.
NCUI President, Dr. Chandra Pal Singh Yadav suggested that the cooperatives can play a greater role for the upliftment of the weak and marginal section of the society, particularly when the world is facing a financial crisis. He suggested professionalism and modernisation of the cooperatives.
NCUI Chief Executive Dr. Dinesh said that cooperation was the only way to fail out the poor from poverty in this country and urged the co-operators to play an active role.
A Book on Vaikunthbhai Mehta Memorial Lecture 1991-2009 and a Report on Strengthening of Data Base and Net-working of Fisheries Cooperatives in Eastern Zone was released by Dr. Bakshi