Nine savings and credit cooperatives and a multipurpose cooperative merged – for the first time in the history of cooperatives in Nepal – to become ‘Hamro Sagarmatha Multipurpose Cooperative’.

The new entity started its formal operations from today.

Former Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai, on the occasion, said that the merger could also encourage cooperatives that are not doing well.

Six Kathmandu-based cooperatives – Janata Multipurpose and its service centre, Swayambhu Dallu Savings and Credit, Shuva Laxmi Savings and Credit, Hausala Multipurpose, Hamro Gaun Savings and Credit and Valley Multipurpose – two Lalitpur-based cooperatives – Sagarmatha Multipurpose and Himshikhar Savings and Credit, and – a Kavrepalanchok-based Mega Savings and Credit from Bhakundebesi – have merged to become ‘Hamro Sagarmatha Multipurpose Cooperative’, said chairman of the merged entity KB Upreti said, at the inauguration programme.

The merger is aimed at providing quality service, he said, adding that it will also help equip the new cooperative with diversified technologies and skilled manpower as most of the cooperatives that have merged have been in the business for the last 15 years.

In recent years, the mushrooming cooperatives have made bad name for the cooperatives in the country also because of their mission drift.

Hamro Sagarmatha has a share capital of Rs 150 million, while the number of members has reached 15,000 after the merger. Its turnover will amount to Rs 1.50 billion.

The merged entity plans to focus on investing in production businesses for import substitution and export promotion, besides promoting employment generation, Upreti said, adding that Hamro Sagarmatha has opened 14 service centres in Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Kavrepalanchok.

The move is expected to pave way for the cooperatives for mergers. Some 17 cooperatives are merging in Dolakha,” Department of Cooperatives under secretary Bishnu Prasad Ghimire, informed, hoping that some 500 cooperatives will merge to become 150 in the current fiscal year.

The department had last year introduced ‘Merger Working Procedure’ to facilitate the merger of cooperatives.

Currently, there are more than 31,000 cooperatives – majority of savings and credit cooperatives operating in urban areas – as of the last fiscal year.

But most of the urban saving and credit cooperatives have misued the deposits of public giving bad name for all cooperatives.

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