Gujarat’s Cooperative Sector Matter of Pride, Amul’s Growth Has Stunned

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Gujarat’s Cooperative Sector Matter of Pride, Amul’s Growth Has Stunned The World: Amit Shah

| Updated: May 29, 2022 18:45

Union Cooperation Minister Amit Shah on Sunday said Gujarat’s cooperative movement was a proud achievement and that several countries could not believe the success story of Amul, which is a global brand today.

He was addressing a huge public meeting of milk producers in central Gujarat’s Panchmahal district after remotely inaugurating two plants set up by the Godhra-based Panchamrut Dairy (Panchmahal District Co-operative Milk Producers’ Union Ltd) in Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh and Malegaon in Maharashtra, among other projects. “The cooperative movement in Gujarat is a matter of pride today,” Shah said.

According to Shah, leaders from across the country and abroad are surprised when they hear about Amul, or the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), an umbrella organisation of 18 district milk cooperative unions in Gujarat with 36.4 lakh members.

“Two ministers from Australia and the Netherlands came back to tell me that they got the data provided by me (on Amul) cross-checked on a website whether it was correct or not. Such a huge cooperative movement. Nobody can believe that a cooperative movement like Amul clocks a turnover of Rs 60,000 crore,” Shah said.

Amit Shah alleged that the previous Congress-led government at the Centre was constantly ignoring the pleas of cooperative leaders for government support. Let alone assistance, the previous government even failed to create an environment where cooperative bodies do not face injustice, he said.

“To give priority to the sector, (Prime Minister) Narendrabhai Modi formed the Ministry of Cooperation. He also increased the budget for cooperatives seven times, removed some taxes in the sugar sector, reduced the MAT (minimum alternate tax) to 15 from 18 per cent, and surcharge to 7 from 12 per cent on cooperative organisations,” Shah said.

He also targeted the Congress for not providing constitutional status to the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in 70 years of its rule, “something that the Narendra Modi government did” through 123rd amendment (in Constitution). Many welfare schemes of the Centre are for the OBCs, Dalits and tribals, according to the Union Home Minister.

He said the Narendra Modi government has brought many reforms for the OBC community, and talked about the 123rd Constitutional Amendment Bill that grants constitutional status to the National Commission on Backward Classes (NCBC).

The Centre has come up with a project to computerise cooperative societies and connect them directly to NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development), for which Rs 6,500 crore has been provisioned, he said.

“I would tell you as the Minister of Cooperation that through the Cooperative Ministry, there is going to be a huge revolution in the area in the next five years under the leadership of Modiji,” he said.

Shah said several steps were being taken in this direction, like creation of a database, training, reduction in taxes and reforming existing laws. He said the projects which he inaugurated for the Panchamrut Dairy will go on to strengthen the cooperative movement in Gujarat’s Panchmahal, Mahisagar and Dahod districts that are covered by the Panchamrut Dairy.

Amit Shah also appealed to milk producers in the three districts to adopt natural farming, and informed that Amul has set a target to establish laboratories to examine land (for organic farming) and organic products.

Shah also inaugurated the newly constructed building of the Panchmahal District Cooperative Bank in Godhra and launched mobile ATM vans for people living in rural areas in the district.

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