Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Rural Cooperatives

Rural Cooperative Credit Structure beg for urgent reforms

Cooperatives with their spread are the best means for reaching the goals of financial inclusion and Jan-Dhan.
Their form and content needs change. Meaningful recommendations of Vaidyanathan Committee have been implemented more in breach. The States that received the reform package have breached on the MOUs and misspent the grant released and NABARD also did not put its heart in the monitoring of the grant assistance.
GOI should recall the grant assistance from all these states or should give them an year's time to re-engineer the rural cooperative credit structure to the promised health. 

The vast potential of cooperatives can be fully utilised only through de-bonding them from the politicians and vested interests and by ushering in legal and governance reforms. 

NABARD in its present form would not be able to meet the goals of cooperative reforms. It should have a dedicated Associate to deal with rural cooperative credit structure. Cooperative Advocacy and member education are the two corner stones of success of any future efforts of revamping cooperatives. Transparency and accountability demand heavy investments in technology that the cooperatives can currently ill-afford and therefore, GoI would do well to institute a dedicated fund for the purpose. 

A Cooperative Grants Commission should be set up by the Union Government to encourage promotional activities like member education, advocacy, technology infusion and governance.

States should set up Cooperative Development Boards to oversee the reforms and to ensure networking of all the cooperative institutions to ensure that there is no overlapping of efforts and wastage of resources.