Posted on 21 May 2013 by Ajay Jha
Despite catering to the needs of nearly one billion people worldwide, cooperatives have failed to elicit matching response from the governments, said Dr Dinesh, Chief Executive of National Cooperative Union of India.
Dr Dinesh was, however, unsatisfied with the over-all performance of the cooperatives in India. Our International year of Cooperative pledge reads;“Cooperative enterprises build better world”. But how could we keep this pledge without professionalizing the cooperative team?
The relation of cooperative members to the cooperatives operating in Indian villages is restricted to getting a sack or two of fertilizers, seeds or other such requirements. He is not involved in its operations. There is no professional way of doing business, he lamented.
Unless the PACS become a whole game that survive on their own and conduct business through professional expertise, the slogan “cooperative builds better world” would sound hollow, he said in a frank chat with Indian Cooperative.
Mentioning America as an example, Dr Dinesh said 97 percent of the US’s energy needs are met through cooperatives. In Singapore majority of fair price shops are run through cooperatives, he added.
He felt that the government of India is ignoring the role of cooperatives for economic growth of the country. The absence of word “cooperative” in the five year plans for two consecutive terms comes as a shock to him.
If nuclear power could be generated by government and salt by TATAs why not allow cooperatives in the agricultural field where it is already doing 50 percent of the business, Dr Dinesh asked.
Posted on 23 July 2012 by Dipak Kumar
Ranjan Singh says he is a chief reporter with Dainik Bhaskar in Bihar. He has shot a letter to Indian Cooperative from Samastipur exposing the highhandedness of cooperative officials in paddy procurement.
We produce below the letter
There is a village named Dhrubgama in the Kalyanpur block of Samastipur district. Farmers are being openly paid only Rs 1225 per thousand kg of wheat by the Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies here, while the governmental rate is Rs 1260.
Farmers are also asked to bring their bag which PACS’s officials promise to return in course of time. The story is same in every villages of the district. There is no official who would bother to listen to you.
Corruption is rampant in cooperatives here. Every time one seeks loan from a cooperative bank, cut is demanded first.
I phoned cooperative official Ram Naresh Pandey but he dismissed the matter by demanding written complaint. When I asked the phone number of Registrar from him he had none.
I request you to goad higher officials of cooperative at the national level to help farmers get Rs 1260 per thousand kilogram of wheat. Government of Bihar is doing nothing.
Posted on 23 July 2012 by Dipak Kumar
Ex-Chairman of Biscomaun Sunil Singh bounced back as Chairman of Dumari Bujurg Primary Agriculture Credit Co-operative Society after winning a fierce legal battle against the State government of Bihar.
The Joint Registrar, Co-operative Societies, Saran at Chapra has held the election of the office bearers and the members of the managing committee of the Dumari Bujurg Primary Agriculture Credit Co-operative Society, Sonepur Block, District-Saran as also the election of the chairman of the said society as illegal and has set aside the same in April.
Mr Y V Giri, Counsel for the petitioners raised the issue of jurisdiction of Joint Registrar in the matter and sought interim relief from the Patna High court.
Basing his arguments on the Bihar State Election Authority Act, 2008, Giri said that Act provides that no election to a post of a body would be called in question except by way of an election petition and shall be filed before an authority under an Act regulating such body and in absence thereof before a Munsif in whose jurisdiction such institution or establishment or organization or body is situated.
High Court observed that in the light of Giri’s argument the order passed by the Joint Registrar, Cooperative Societies, Saran Division, is wholly without jurisdiction.
In the order the court said “Court on a writ petition filed by the members of the managing committee of the Dumari Bujurg Primary Agriculture Credit Agriculture Society questioning the very same order which is put to challenge in the present proceedings.
It is submitted that a bench of this Court while considering the statutory provisions and having regard to the circumstances governing the issue, by order dated 18.05.2012 passed in C.W.J.C. No. 9051 of 2012 (Annexure-12), while issuing notice to the private respondents has been pleased to stay the operation of the order”.
Posted on 21 July 2012 by Parasnath Chaudhary
Official sources claim paddy procurement in Odisha has been a great success in 2011-12 and Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies (PACS) have played an important role.
Out of total 42.38 lakh MT of paddy procured so far, PACS have collected 37.30 lakh MT the lion’s share of the whole procurement.
PACS counting 1,858 in all had opened more than two thousand purchase centers in the state. The agencies like MARKFED, NAFED, TDCC and FCI also participated in the grain procurement drive in Odisha.
According to sources, it is mainly the efforts of the cooperative societies that have led to successful paddy procurement in the state
Posted on 19 June 2012 by Parasnath Chaudhary
A cooperative official in Bihar has been caught red-handed accepting a bribe in his office in Lakhisarai. The vigilance detectives had swung into action on a complaint lodged by a local primary agriculture credit cooperative society.
The accused official had taken the bribe for giving permission for wheat procurement.
There are allegations that the official had earlier also taken some amount from the PACS chairman.
One of the problems bedeviling the grain procurement in Bihar has been the corruption rampant among the cooperative officials in the state. The officialdom here has never been helpful and honest and there have been cases galore of their interference with normal smooth grain procurement.
Posted on 28 May 2012 by Ajay Jha
Bihar has turned into the field of cooperative wars with government and erstwhile chairmen and directors of cooperative bodies at loggerheads.The state sponsored cooperative conference on 26th May came soon after the conference of 23rd May which was organized by former Biscomaun Chairman Sunil Singh.
“A panicky government did not allow us to use Sri Krishna Memorial Hall even though number of cooperative leaders were running into thousands”, said Sunil Singh while talking to Indian Cooperative.
While Sunil Singh’s programme was attended by many top national cooperative leaders including NCUI’s President Chandra Pal Singh Yadav, the government sponsored programme drew women cooperators and aimed at empowering them.
Sunil Singh accuses Government of masquerading BJP women cell members as cooperators in want of genuine women cooperators in the state. “Cooperative officials were threatened in each district and asked to contact BJP Mahila cell to send volunteers. There are only about 264 women PACs Chairman in the states”, he said.
He also said that male PACs Chairmen numbering into about 8500 were not invited as government were scared of their anger on lack of payment of paddy prices running into Rs 800 crores.
Detractors of Sunil Singh however accuse him of double standards. They accuse him of advocating the case of PACs Chairmen whom he had always fought with. “Since it suits his political expediency he is talking on behalf of PACs Chairmen”, they argue.
He has no courage to contest election and is fighting the Bihar Election Authority set up recently in the court. How can he talk on behalf of those who have been elected through the new system? He is a cooperative leader who fears transparency and has been reduced to mere paper tiger status, they alleged.
Posted on 23 April 2012 by Dipak Kumar
Some good news from the Mamata Banerjee’s govt of West Bengal at last. The state government appears serious in cleansing the cooperative sector in the state of criminal tendencies and undemocratic norms on the lines of Nitish Kumar.
Towards this end, the govt. has formed a dedicated election commission for the cooperative sector. The move has been widely hailed as a great step towards reorganization of the cooperative sector in accord with the democratic principles.
Readers can recall that Nitish govt in Bihar set up Election Authority in 2008 which conducted fair elections of primary agriculture credit cooperative societies. This has resulted into creation of a viable network of PACS which is proving handy in all rural-centric schemes.
More than a thousand primary cooperative societies will soon be holding elections to elect their managing bodies.
There are thousands of cooperative societies registered in West Bengal. There are also more than five thousand primary agricultural societies and nearly a score of district central cooperative banks.
Sources say, most of the cooperative institutions in the state are still being managed undemocratically by the communists and the present govt. is determined to weed out them out.
Posted on 28 March 2012 by Parasnath Chaudhary
The role of the cooperative banks is being regarded important in the context of the economic transformation of Bihar.
Answering a query in the state assembly, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Shushil Modi said the govt would not begin banking operations but would take all possible measures to strengthen the cooperative banks in the state.
Modi added the cooperative banks met the financial requirements of the people at large and therefore the govt would make every effort to ensure their smooth functioning.
According to observers, the Nitish govt sets great store by the cooperative movement and the development of the cooperative network across the state is a priority in its scheme of things. It was Bihar only where Election Authority was set up to conduct elections of primary Agricultural cooperative societies across the state.
The experiment has been a huge success. Today the state boasts of a credible network of PACs spread across the remotest parts and through which various governmental schemes from paddy procurement to loan disburshment are being implemented. Nitish Kumar indeed deserves to be awarded Sahakar Ratna title.
Posted on 29 January 2012 by Parasnath Chaudhary
A record production of paddy in Bihar has pushed the state govt into undertaking a major procurement drive. The target is to procure about 30 lakh mt paddy during the Kharif season.
The govt has pressed various agencies into service procuring paddy from the farmers. The most remarkable aspect of the exercise is an important role being played by the cooperative organizations in it.
There are nearly 7 thousand Primary Agricultural Societies (PACs) involved in the procurement drive. The work being put in by them has widely been appreciated.
Bihar minister for Food and Supplies Mr Shyam Rajak has expressed satisfaction at the fact that the current procurement drive mainly powered by the cooperatives has already cut the ground from under the middlemen’s feet.
Posted on 23 January 2012 by Ajay Jha
Cooperative model has proved its superiority in the paddy procurement drive sweeping many states of the country. The difference between market economy and Cooperative model is too obvious to be overlooked.
Poor farmers who produce grains toiling in fields never got a just return of their labour earlier. The middlemen used to buy their produce for a song and sell them with a huge profit margin in the market. The scenario changed by the intervention of cooperative societies in a big way.
States of Bihar, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal, among others, employed Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies in the procurement of paddy thereby reducing the role of the middleman to a minimum.
Indiancooperative.com correspondent touring Bihar to find out the role of PACs in paddy procurement has reported huge differences in paddy rates between PACs and the market.
While paddy was being sold at Rs 1080 per quintal at PACs the same was fetching a meager Rs 550 in the market. PACs have also set higher rate for the superior grains. Farmers could be seen lining up at the PACs offices to sell their produce in sacs.
There are though incidents of the middleman approaching the farmers in villages and offering them cash they (farmers) are in great need of. These middlemen have also been found dissuading farmers from going to PACS giving them wrong information about PACs.
In one such case a farmer, U P Yadav of the village Jhitki in the district of Madhubani in north Bihar complained to Indiancooperative.com that the middleman offered him cash by visiting his field at a much reduced rate. Short of money, he accepted it.
But when he came to know of the difference in price through our correspondent his effort to return money and get back his paddy from the middleman was met with stiff resistance.
These are not isolated cases. Many more poor farmers have fallen victim to this tactic. There is an urgent need to popularize the paddy procurement drive through cooperatives. There is also a need to instill confidence among the farmers of an assured return of their produce through PACs.