THRIVING ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT THROUGH CO-OPERATIVES
– By Prakash S Naik,
Though Co-operative movement started in Goa a bit late as compared to the other parts of the country it gained much needed impetus with the spurt in Co-operative societies registered as on March 31, 2022 be it Housing Co-operatives, Women Self Help Group Co-operative Institutions, Urban Credit Societies, Urban Co-operative Banks, Dairy Co-operative Societies among other allied Co-operatives and Societies which are instrumental in financing and rendering services in the area of human endeavour.
The Co-operative Movement in India was officially started with the advent of the Co-operative Societies Act, 1904. Subsequently this Act was replaced by Co-operative Societies Act 1912. Consequent upon Constitutional reforms introduced in the year 1919 the subject of cooperation was since transferred to the States. Accordingly different State Governments enacted their own Co-operative Societies Act, first being Bombay cooperative Societies Act 1925.
Goa achieved Liberation on December 19, 1961. However, immediately after proclaiming the transition period, the co-operative Movement was introduced in the State. The first agricultural co-operative Society was established in the remote village of Nagargao in March 1963 under the name the Nagargao V.K.S.S. Society Ltd. Thereafter all the village panchayats in the then union territory of Goa, Daman and Diu have followed the example of the pilot project of co-operative society established at Nagargao. The agriculture cooperative Societies in Goa has played a vital role for boosting the agriculture production thereby contributing to the national economy.
As a result of diversification and availability of different avenues in the economy the cooperative societies of different objectives and areas of the economy has started to come up in the State of Goa from the year 1979 onwards.
To mention a few are consumer co-operatives, Industrial, Marketing, Poultry processing and Salary earners Cooperatives etc. In the decade of 1980’s the economic activities in the state of Goa have undergone a sea change.
Also the decade 1980-1990 has witnessed a structural development in dairy farming in the State. As of now, there are 179 dairy co-operative unions which caters to the milk requirement of the Goan people.
In Goa, as of now there are 127 urban co-operative credit societies and 264 employees’ salary earners co-operative credit societies. Also altogether 5271 Co-operative societies are registered in the State of Goa as on March 31, 2022.
The role being played by the Co-operative Sector in rejuvenating and strengthening the rural economy is remarkable. Taking this aspect into account the State Government is also helping these cooperative sectors by providing various beneficial schemes for overall development of the Co-operative movement as well as socio economic development of its members.
The Department of Co-operation has also initiated efforts in the interest of co-operative members and staff working in the Co-operative sector to acquire required knowledge.
After assuming the charge as Minister for co-operation, Shri Subhash Shirodkar who represents Shiroda Constituency has intensified efforts and laid emphasis to strengthen the co-operative movement in the State. A new scheme “The Goa Sahakar Se Samruddhi Yojana ” is proposed to be introduced aimed at empowering societies and generates income/revenue for boosting its sustainability in changing times and will be made effective from April 1ST 2023.
The much awaited 69TH All India Co-operative week 2022 celebration will commence in the state from November 14 and conclude on November 20, 2022.
The main theme of the celebration for this year is ‘India @ 75: Growth of Co-operative and future Ahead’.
This annual weekly celebration assumes significance as it facilitates to review the development and put in renewed and determined efforts for the development of co-operative movement in the State of Goa.
The inaugural function of Co-operative week will be held at Ganeshotsav Mandal hall, Shiroda Bazar on November 14, 2022 and subsequently in other parts of the State till November 20, 2022.
Apart from Government endeavours, if collective and combined efforts are put in by those involved in the Co-operative Sector it would undoubtedly pave the way for ensuring momentum and yield desired results to strengthen co-operative movement and also to ease the perennial unemployment problem in the State.