Constitution be amended to strengthen cooperatives: NCUI

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New Delhi, Nov 11 (UNI) President of National Cooperative Union of India G H Amin today said there is no alternative but to bring about a Constitutional amendment making it mandatory for the states to hold elections to cooperatives and ensure that the elected representatives complete the tenure.

Addressing a press conference ahead of the 55th 'All India Cooperative Week', Mr Amin also demanded that the Central government go ahead with the proposed Constitutional amendment to impart 'a democratic standing' to cooperatives in the states on a par with the Panchayati Raj system.

The draft of the amendment has already been approved by the Union Agriculture and Cooperative Ministry and also by the Cabinet and is likely to be introduced in Parliament next session, he said.

Barring a few 'success stories' of AMUL, IFFCO and Kribhco the cooperative movement in the country was virtually shattered with every new state government dissolving the cooperative bodies, elected during the previous regime and putting the cooperative units under administrative officers, various cooperatives leaders assembled here said.

Mr Amin said, recently, the Mayawati government had removed 40,000 cooperative bodies elected for five years in Uttar Pradesh earlier the BJP goverenment in Uttrakhand also took a similar step and reduced the term from five to two years to accommodate their people The autocratic authority of Cooperative Registrars needs to be restricted, he added.

Since the cooperatives are state subject and each state government wanted to use them as 'political platform', the cooperative movement could not get strengthened and lost the autonomy in operation.

Other cooperative leaders also said the cooperatives were being used as 'a political ladder' by the politicians and they lost their credibility in most of states barring a few like Gujarat and Maharashtra.

The NCUI is celebrating the cooperative week on the theme of "Autonomous and Competitive Cooperatives for Bharat Nirman" on November 14.

Some of the leaders admitted that the co-operatives should emulate the free trade practices for acquiring professionalism.

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