Cooperative's role crucial due to liberalisation: Kanwaljit

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Patiala, May 16 (UNI) Given the present scenario of liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation, cooperatives have to play a major role in the faster societal development of Punjab. For this the cooperative departments need to co-exist with the corporate world to mutually benefit each other, Punjab Cooperation Minister Capt Kanwaljit Singh, said here today.

While inaugurating national seminar on, "Cooperative Movement in Socio-Economic Development in South west Asia", organised by the Punjabi University's Centre for South West Asia Study here, Capt Singh said that abject poverty, illiteracy, insurgency, unemployment and poor quality of social services were posing a great challenge for the region.

Market economy, on the other hand, was causing concentration of wealth instead of equitable distribution disturbing the whole balance. Human dignity has fallen a prey to these newly-emerging commercial tendencies with fruits of emergency stopping short of percolating down to the poor, he said.

''In the absence of proper help from the cooperatives, the poor, especially the farmers, have to suffer at the hands of moneylenders in the unorganised sector,'' he said adding that cooperative sector therefore needed to be revitalised and reorganised to step in to help this section of the society.

The Government is planning to restructure it cooperative departments to promote women empowerment and extend better health services to the poor, Capt Kanwaljit added.

Dr Jaspal Singh, Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University, in his presidential remarks said that with the advent of free market economy, gap between rich and the poor was increasing beyond all degrees of proportion, causing many ailments in the society.

He stressed upon following the all-inclusive model of development to face and encounter the onslaught of multi national companies. He also advocated the cause of strengthening and broad-basing the services of cooperatives to bridge the gap between the haves and have-nots.

Programme Coordinator of the Centre and Dean, Academic affairs of the University, Dr Sucha Singh Gill said that the cooperatives should follow a people-centric model by removing the bureaucratic hindrances.

UNI XC JN BK2002

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