The government is determined to make cooperatives and all cooperative institutions more empowered, said Union Minister Amit Shah, who met some leading figures of the country's cooperative sector on Saturday.
The meeting came three days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi reallocated the portfolios of his ministers in which Mr. Shah was given charge of the newly-created Ministry of Cooperation.
Those who met the Union Home Minister include chairman of the National Cooperative Union of India Dileep Sanghani, the chairman and the managing director of the Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) B.S. Nakai and U.S. Awasthi respectively, and chairman of the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED) Bijender Singh.
"Today met @ncuicoop Chairman Shri Dileep Sanghani ji, @IFFCO_PR Chairman Shri B S Nakai ji, Managing Director Shri U S Awasthi ji and @nafedindia Chairman Dr Bijendra Singh ji... Under the leadership of Modi ji, we are determined to make cooperatives and all cooperative institutions more empowered,” Mr Shah tweeted in Hindi.
Officials said even though Mr. Shah has not yet assumed the charge of the Ministry of Cooperation, he has begun to meet people.
In the meeting, the Minister asked cooperatives like IFFCO and KRIBHCO to work in the field of seed production using vacant land of 38,000 hectares as well as in organic farming, the NCUI said in a separate statement.
He also assured that the government is committed to strengthening the cooperative movement in the country, the benefits of which would go to the grass-root level cooperatives, it said.
Mr. Shah also assured the delegation that the same benefits and concessions given to Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) will be provided to primary agriculture cooperatives in the country for strengthening them, it added.
In the meeting, the Minister desired that a conference with representatives of State-level cooperatives should be organized by NCUI, IFFCO and other cooperatives for discussing pertinent issues confronting the cooperative movement.
The delegation apprised the Minister about the problems and challenges confronting the cooperative movement.
The government has carved out the new ministry for cooperation, which earlier was a small department in the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.