Focus on professional functioning of cooperatives: Chandy
: The State government would bring in an amendment to the Cooperative Societies Act to strengthen the cooperative sector, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said.
Addressing the valedictory of the 7th Cooperative Congress 2012 here on Friday, he said the 97th Constitution (Amendment) Act would encourage economic activities of cooperatives.
“The State will amend the Cooperative Societies Act in line with the 97th Constitution (Amendment) Act. The Union government has enacted this Constitution (Amendment) Act to ensure democratic and professional functioning of the cooperatives. We should also get the benefit of the amendment,” he said.
Mr. Chandy said the State’s reluctance to implement the recommendations of the Vaidyanathan Committee cost its cooperative sector dear by way of loss of Central assistance of Rs.1,000 crore. Kerala
and Goa were the only two States who lost the assistance, he added.
The Chief Minister suggested extending the scope of the Cooperative Risk Fund scheme, under which loans would be written off in case of death of the loanee, to those who were suffering from chronic diseases too.
The Chief Minister said the government was willing to share a part of the additional financial burden for modifying the Cooperative Risk Fund scheme.
Mr. Chandy said the cooperative sector had a crucial role in checking price rise. The government was ready to provide support to cooperatives in their initiatives to control the spiralling prices, he added.
The Chief Minister said cooperative banks should take a more liberal policy in disbursal of educational loans to students.
He urged the Centre to extend the repayment facility for educational loans, currently allowed only to nationalised banks, to the cooperative banks too.
Under the facility, interest payments would commence only after the student completed his education.
Mr. Chandy said land would be allotted soon for ‘Sahakarana Bhavan’ in Thiruvananthapuram.
Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandhan, however, said the 97th Constitution (Amendment) Act was the Centre’s invasion into State government’s power. “The recent amendments would sound death knell for the cooperative sector,” he said.
Excise Minister K. Babu and Cooperation Minister C.N. Balakrishnan were among those who participated in the function.