Co-operative Export Society: Step towards ‘Sahakar-se-Samriddhi’
Dr Puneet Sudan
With support from all Ministries through their export-related policies, schemes, and agencies using the ‘Whole of Government Approach’, the goal is to establish and promote a national level multi-state cooperative export society under the Multi State Cooperative Societies Act, 2002, for carrying out exports of all goods and services produced by cooperatives and related entities. The society will carry out its operations through the acquisition, storage, processing, marketing, branding, labeling, packaging, certification, research, and development, among other things, and trading of all varieties of goods and services produced by cooperatives and affiliated companies. By assisting in boosting exports of excess goods and services created in the cooperative sector, the society will support ‘Make in India’ and Atmanirbhar Bharat. Increased exports from this society will boost cooperatives’ production of goods and services at different levels, creating additional jobs in the cooperative sector. Processing of goods & enhancing the services to match international standards will also generate additional employment. The projected targeted beneficiaries are the 29 million cooperative members who are primarily from farming communities, marginalised and lower income groups in rural areas. Multi-state cooperative export society can be registered under the Multi State Cooperative Societies Act and Rules, 2002. National cooperative societies are registered under Second Schedule of MSCS Act, 2002, which promote member cooperatives in different sectors. The Central Government is empowered to amend the Second Schedule of MSCS Act, 2002 by a notification. The proposed society will need cooperation from all sectorial Ministries because cooperatives cross all economic sectors, according to the ‘Whole of Government Approach’ for the development of exports through their policies and programmes. The Government of India is eager to include cooperatives with the current plans and initiatives of various Ministries and Departments, and in this regard, a letter was addressed to all Ministries. The society will focus on exporting the surpluses available in the country in the cooperative sector by removing such inadequacies. This will enable the Indian Cooperative sector to access wider markets beyond the geographical contours of the country thereby increasing the demand of Indian Cooperative products/services across the globe, fetch best possible prices for national surpluses of such products/services. This proposed society will promote exports through various activities including procurement, storage, processing, marketing, branding, labeling, packaging, certification, research and development, etc., and trading of all types of goods and services produced by cooperatives. The proposed society will also help in arranging finance, provide technical guidance, help in training and capacity building, develop and maintain market intelligence system, implement related government schemes and undertake any other such activities which will increase exports from the cooperative sector and other related entities. Four leading cooperatives viz. Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative Limited (IFFCO), Krishak Bharati Cooperative Limited (KRIBHCO), National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Limited (NAFED), Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Limited (GCMMF) and National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) have resolved to contribute Rs 100 crore each and become promoter members for establishing a national level multi-state cooperative society for exports. It will have area of operation all over the country. Initially, the registered office will be at New Delhi. Cooperatives at all levels, including from primary to national, which are interested in export activities will be eligible to join the proposed society as members. The proposed society will function in accordance with cooperative principles for social and economic betterment of its members through export and its promotion. The regular affairs of the society will be governed by Board of Directors under the guidance of General Body, with the help of Chief Executive in accordance with its bye-laws and MSCS Act and Rules 2002 as amended from time to time. It will be accountable to its members. The society will have an authorized share capital of Rs 2,000 crore and will be established with initial paid-up share capital of Rs 500 crore. It will raise funds through share capital, admission and other fee, loans, cash credits, commercial papers, overdraft of banks/FIs, grant-in-aid and subsidies from central and state governments, donations/contributions from members and other organizations with in India & abroad and profits. This society is being set up under innovative model, where five leading organizations, who have manifested their competence over the period of time, have come together to undertake specialised activity of boosting exports of surpluses of cooperative sector of India. As there is a provision of providing dividend up to 20 per cent, members will be benefitted by investing in this society. Since there is no financial contribution or management by way of creating government post or administering the society on the lines of other autonomous organizations of the Government is involved, the society will operate purely as business entity without interference from the Government. In all likelihood the society will achieve its target. The national level multi-state cooperative export society will provide thrust to exports from cooperative sector by acting as an umbrella organisation for carrying out and promoting exports. This will help in unlocking export potential of Indian cooperatives in global markets. This society will also help cooperatives in getting benefits of various export related schemes and policies of different ministries of Government of India in a focused manner through ‘Whole of Government Approach’. This will also help in achieving the goal of ‘Sahakar-se-Samriddhi’ through the inclusive growth model of cooperatives where the members would benefit both by realization of better prices through export of their goods and services and also by dividend distributed out of the surplus generated by the society.
(The author is faculty- Regional Institute of Cooperative Management, Chandigarh).