Min takes exception to Jaya, Left leaders remark on Coop polls

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Tiruchirapalli, Nov 18 (UNI) Tamil Nadu Transport Minister K N Nehru has taken strong exception over the reported criticism of AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa and leaders of the Left parties that the ruling DMK was extending the term of special officers in cooperative institutions by not holding elections to the cooperative societies in the state.

Speaking at the 55th All-India Cooperative Week celebrations here last night, Mr Nehru pointed out that in the last 30 years during the AIADMK regime headed by late MGR and Jayalalithaa, no elections were held in Tamil Nadu.

The two former Chief Ministers were responsible for destabilising the cooperative movement in the State, he charged.

He claimed that during the DMK rule between 1996 and 2001, own buildings were constructed to house 12,500 fair price shops run by the cooperatives.

Efforts would be made to hold elections to the cooperative societies, he added.

Speaking on the occosion, Cooperation Minister Ko Si Mani said the revolving fund of Rs 10 crore has been sanctioned to the farmers' joint liability groups formed through cooperative banks in the state.

The joint liability groups have proved their mettle in the cooperative movement. Against the target of 10,000, as many as 10,722 groups had been formed so far in the state and the banks had sanctioned farm loans to the tune of Rs 33.70 crore to them, he added.

Explaining the achievements of the cooperative banks during the current fiscal, he said loans to the tune of Rs 794 crore had been sanctioned so far benefiting nearly 3.37 lakh farmers, including about 83,500 new borrowers.

In Tiruchirapalli district, Rs 29.25 crore had been disbursed to about 13,300 farmers.

With today's celebrations marking 'New Perspective Day for retail sales through market and consumer cooperatives,' Mr Mani said except one, all the 110 cooperative market societies had started earning profits.

Steps were being taken to bring that one society out of the red within a month. Also, all the 34 cooperative supermarkets were expected to make profit during the current fiscal, he added.

Forests Minister N Selvaraj, District Collector T Soundaiah, among others addressed the gathering.

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