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Former Union minister Suresh Prabhu to head forum for promoting cooperative movement

New Delhi, June 30 (PTI) Former Union minister and Rajya Sabha member Suresh Prabhu will lead a CoOperative Development Forum (CDF) that will work towards promoting cooperative movement in the country and boost the rural economy.

The forum is likely to be formally launched on July 24, according to a statement.

Seven prominent cooperative leaders would be part of the forum. They are C P Yadav, MP and President of NCUI; U S Awasthi, MD of IFFCO; Dileep Bhai Sanghani, Chairman of NAFSCOB; Jyotindra Mehta, Chairman of NAFCUB; Satish Marathe, Director on RBI Central Board; Mangal Jit Rai, Chairman of NCDFI and Uday Joshi- National General Secretary of Sahakar Bharati.

NCUI is the National Cooperative Union of India, NAFSCOB is the National Federation of State Cooperative Banks Ltd, NAFCUB is the National Federation of Urban Cooperative Banks and Credit Societies Ltd and NCDFI is the National Cooperative Dairy Federation of India.

Prabhu, who is also India's Sherpa for G20, would head the forum that has identified five key action points. It includes formulation of modern National/ State Cooperative Policy in the context of creating 'AtmaNirbhar Bharat'.

Recognising the importance of access to finance, the forum would also work towards creation of a section for financial cooperative institutions in the department of financial services under the finance ministry.

Among other activities, it would write to state governments to amend their respective State Cooperative Acts in line with 97th Constitution Amendment Act, 2011, as per the statement.

While maintaining the autonomy of cooperatives, the forum would pitch for permitting the cooperative sector to raise capital/ long term funds through a Social Sector Exchange.

'The international presence of cooperatives with their effective contribution to the socio-economic fabric of nations and India's surge as a key global player, has prompted Indian cooperators to create CoOperative Development Forum.

'This will foster a paradigm shift for Indian cooperatives that have for long suffered disrepute at the hands and deeds of some individuals who digressed from the path of cooperation per its 10 cooperative values including honesty and openness,' the statement said.

According to the statement, the success of cooperatives like IFFCO and Amul emphasises the need to usher in yet another era of cooperativism in India which is poised to lead the world in uplifting lives of millions of farmers and promoting the culture of peace and sustainable development.

Based on the innovative path breaking measures taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to create a New India with a five trillion dollar economy, the Indian cooperative movement needs the right political, financial and technological support for its members to continue their role as an effective agent for transforming the lives of rural Indian community, it added. PTI MJH RAM