President Dr Ram Baran Yadav – inaugurating the first national Cooperatives Congress here today – has stressed the need to focus on qualitative growth of cooperatives sector rather than quantitative.
“The sector has seen remarkable progress after the 1990s,” he said, adding that working in different sectors like agriculture, small and cottage industries and hydropower, they have to be however, more cautious on disciplined. “There has been news of malpractices in cooperatives. If these reports are true, it would have adverse impact in the cooperative movement.”
They should follow the international norms and values of the cooperatives movement, he added.
In the absence of regulatory authority for the cooperatives, and weak cooperatives department, most of the cooperatives have been cheating general people.
A high-level commission recently formed to recover deposits at risk has so far received some 13,000 complaints against 130 cooperatives claiming to have been cheated around Rs 9 billion.
The President underlining the need to form a regulatory mechanism to ensure transparency in the cooperative sector, said that they should not deviate from the cooperatives norms.
Jointly organised by National Cooperatives Federation in Nepal and Ministry of Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation, the three-day congress saw ministers and government officials lauding the contribution of cooperative sector for economic growth. They, however, also lamented lack of transparency and good governance in some cooperatives.
Speaking on the occasion, president of the International Cooperative Alliance, Dame Pauline Green said the cooperative model of enterprise is one of the fastest growing business models in the world. “It is clear that much of the growth can come from country like Nepal where you have the active cooperative leadership and membership along with cooperative friendly government,” she added.
Speaking on the occasion, former premier Dr Baburam Bhattarai also lauded cooperative role in laying the foundation of economic development in the country. “Establishment of production and distribution oriented cooperatives is imperative for economic growth,” he added.
But with the growth in the number of cooperatives, they also need to be transparent and accountable, finance minister Dr Ram Sharan Mahat said, on the occasion. “The need of the hour is to strengthen the monitoring and regulation to curb and check fraud cooperatives,” he added.
Likewise, chief secretary Leela Mani Poudyal hailing the role of cooperative sector for economic growth, also asked them to mobilise scattered capital and resources in the country for growth and help in alleviating poverty.