Kochi, Oct 26 (UNI) Kerala Cooperation Minister G Sudhakaran today said it was time to review whether the benefits of the cooperative movement were enjoyed by the socially and economically backward sections of the society.
Delivering the presidential address at the Sixth Cooperative Congress here, Mr Sudhakaran said '' the State's cooperative movement is unique in the country and we need to review whether the services rendered by the cooperatives were filtering down to the people who need the most.'' The Minister said the cooperative movement should reconsider its priorities as most of the coir workers, fishermen and other traditional labourers were still not getting the services of the co-operative societies.
He said 70 different types of cooperatives had around Rs 32,000 crore as deposits, one of the highest in the country.
The Minister also stressed the importance of changing the Kerala Co-operative Societies Act in tune with the evolving economic environment.
'' About 104 amendments needed in the law would be discussed in the Congress and hoped that a 'comprehensive change' would be recommended for the State Assembly,'' he added.
He said the recommendations of Dr Vaidyanathan Committee report could be approved only after making requisite changes, taking into consideration the uniqueness of the State Cooperative model.
After inaugurating the Congress, Head of Cooperative Financial Services in the UK Simon Coax said the co-operative movemnt across the globe should gear up to face the challenges of globalisation.
'' The movement should keep tab with the rapid changes in the world and target young people in schools, as well as identify new areas of need and not just focus on agriculture and financial markets,'' he said.
Around 3,000 representatives would participate in the three-day Congress in which different topics like impact of various committee reports on the cooperative sector, lack of professionalism in the sector, problems faced by coir, handloom and fisheries cooperatives would be discussed.
Fisheries Minister S Sarma, Opposition Leader Oomen Chandy, were among others present on the occasion.