Their success in sugar production, milk marketing spurs move

After successful management of farm credit, sugar production and marketing of milk by cooperatives, the government is considering promoting the cooperative sector in the fields of health and drinking water in the State.

Minister for Cooperation B.J. Puttaswamy told presspersons here on Tuesday that the foundation stone has been laid for a 500-bed hospital in Bidar, which would be managed by a cooperative society. The hospital would be built at a cost of Rs. 200 crore. More hospitals would be constructed and managed on cooperative lines in the days ahead, he said.

Noting the cooperative society’s management of drinking water in a few villages in Gadag district, the Minister said the department would encourage formation of cooperatives to run and maintain drinking water supply utilities in villages. The cooperative society, headed by Congress leader H.K. Patil, has been successfully operating drinking water supply in a few villages of Gadag, he said.

Cooperatives, being community-centric organisations, have to be promoted to ensure potable water to all people in villages, he said.

Cooperatives such as the Karnataka Milk Federation, the Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies and several sugar factories are successfully managing their activities in the State, he said.

Already, village committees have been formed in north Karnataka under the Jal Nirmal project, aided by the World Bank. The government would promote such committees to function on lines of the cooperatives, the Minister said.

Cooperative Week

The 59th All-India Cooperative Week will be held from November 14 to 20, and the inaugural programme will be at Kalamandira on Mysore-Hunsur Road on Wednesday.

Opposed to tax

Mr. Puttaswamy and G.T. Deve Gowda, chairman, Karnataka State Cooperative Federation and Karnataka Housing Board, opposed the Centre’s move to impose tax on the income generated by cooperative societies.

The Direct Tax Code Bill proposed by the Centre would not safeguard the interest of cooperatives and the purpose for which they were formed in rural areas, they said. The second programme of the Cooperative Week will be held at Yadgir on Thursday.

At Hospet

The third programme would be held at Hospet in Bellary on Friday. Experts and members would debate on ‘Promoting cooperatives in new areas, including services and potable drinking water’ at a programme in Gadag on November 17, while ‘Professionalisation of cooperatives’ would be debated at a meeting in Bangalore on November 18. Members will meet in Shimoga on November 19. The valedictory programme of the Cooperative Week will be in Belgaum on November 20.

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