Shah, who is also the Union Home Minister, also announced that the number of primary agriculture cooperative societies (PACs) will be increased to 3 lakh in the next five years. At present, there are about active 65,000 PACs.
Further, the government is working on setting up cooperative common service centres, national database besides a national cooperative university, he added. Shah was speaking at the first Sehkarita Sammelan or National Cooperative Conference. The Ministry of Cooperation was formed in July this year. Addressing the gathering comprising over 2,100 representatives of different cooperatives and nearly 6 crore online participants, Shah said some people wonder why the Centre created this new ministry as the cooperative is a state subject. Shah said there could be a legal response to it, but he does not want to “get into this argument” to make it Centre versus states. Stating that there is a need to make cooperatives survive in a competitive environment, the minister said a new cooperation policy will be brought as part of the government’s ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ initiative to celebrate and commemorate 75 years of progressive India.
“Earlier a policy was brought in 2002 by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and now the Modi government will start working on a new policy,” he said.
Besides this, the government is going to amend the Multi State Cooperatives Act as well as modernise and digitalise PACs in the country. Among other steps to be taken to strengthen the sector, Shah said the government is working on setting up of cooperative common service centres, national database and national cooperative university.