The NDA government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have now reshuffled the Cabinet which has been on cards for a really long time. But, just a day before that, a Ministry of Cooperation came into being. What exactly is the purpose of this new ministry?
The creation of a separate ministry comes after finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in her Union Budget speech, proposed setting up an administrative structure to further streamline the ‘ease of doing business’ for cooperatives.
Let’s explore the details of this new ministry.
This ministry of cooperation will provide a separate administrative, legal and policy framework for strengthening the cooperative movement in the country and will help deepen co-operatives as a true people based movement reaching up to the grassroots. In simpler terms, this Ministry will work to simplify processes and ensure ease of doing business for cooperatives.
It will also aid the development of multi-state cooperatives. By definition, a cooperative is a company that is owned and managed by the people who work in it. It can also be made up of several similar companies or organizations working together to meet common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations.
In India, the cooperative movement plays a crucial role in the agricultural, banking and housing sectors. Amul, for example, is an Indian dairy cooperative society that is managed by the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd and jointly owned by around 36 million milk producers in the western state.
Interestingly, the Modi government has announced today that the minister in-charge of this Ministry of Cooperation shall be Amit Shah. It remains to be seen, in implementation, how this ministry will work out to be favourable for cooperatives in the country.