The government is keeping a close watch on illegal chit fund companies seeking registration as cooperative credit societies, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said today.
“We are not approving such applications which do not have the ‘no objection certificate’ and verification done by the state government. We are keeping close watch on illegal chit funds seeking registration as cooperative societies,” Singh said addressing an event on strengthening cooperative education and training system in India.
The registration norms for cooperative societies have been tightened, he added.
Expressing dissatisfaction over cooperatives functioning in an unprofessional way, the Minister said, “We can improve rural economy with the help of cooperatives. But it is unfortunate that there are discrepancies in most cooperatives even as funds are made available to them.” The cooperatives in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh are in “worst shape” as compared to those operating in other states, he said, adding that these cooperatives should learn from the successful business model of Amul and IFFCO.
The minister also emphasised on capacity building of all stakeholders to bring in professionalism in cooperatives.
“Since cooperative is a state subject, the state governments should allocate funds to strengthen the infrastructure of training centres at local level as well as recognise diploma courses,” he added.
Currently, National Council for Cooperative Training (NCCT) and 109 Junior Cooperative Training Centers (JCTCs) are entrusted with the management and development of cooperative training in the country.
“However the JCTCs, which are tasked with providing grass root level training for cooperative personnel, are not functioning due to lack of finance and infrastructure,” NCCT Chairman Chandra Pal Singh said at the event.
Despite a central fund given to bear 50 per cent of the training expenses, there has been no response from the states, he said.
Asserting that cooperatives should be taught as part of the school syllabus for next generation youth, the NCCT chief said:
“To build new generation leaders in cooperative movement, we need to focus on education and incorporate cooperative as a ‘chapter’ at least in schools.” Cooperative Ministers from Sikkim, Chattisgarh and Bihar also spoke about strengthening of cooperatives in the country.
At present, there are 5.89 lakh cooperative societies comprising about 25 crore members in the country. EoM