By A Staff Reporter Kathmandu, Nov. 25: Vice President Nanda Bahadur Pun has said that cooperatives form the basis for socio-economic transformation. Speaking on the occasion of the 4th Lalitpur Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (SACCOS) Summit organised by Lalitpur District Savings and Credit Cooperatives Union Wednesday, he said that cooperatives should be the foundation for a self-reliant economy.
He said that it was necessary to focus on economic development by maximising the use of capital through cooperatives. Pun said that attention should be paid for the development of cooperatives in Nepal as cooperatives are the backbone of the world economy. The cooperatives would be the foundation for building a prosperous nation. "Confidence in cooperatives is growing. They should be able to change the lives of their members,” he said. Pun also said that the cooperative movement and the state should be vigilant to eliminate the aberrations and irregularities in the cooperatives.
"The role of association of cooperatives should be effective in making cooperatives accountable. Regulation and monitoring is a must to prevent corruption in cooperatives,” he said. He said that economic development and economic inequality would end if attention could be paid to cooperative management.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Phampa Bhusal said that cooperatives were the basis of socialism. She said that the importance of cooperative business was increasing as they are doing business in an organised manner.
Although the cooperatives have done constructive work in the society, she said that the sector has become infamous due to irregularities of some cooperatives. Stating that the cooperative sector has taken deposits and disbursed loans at high rate, she suggested reducing interest on both deposits and loans to increase production and entrepreneurship. Registrar of the Department of Cooperatives Jhalak Ram Adhikari said that monitoring is being made effective to make the cooperatives responsible towards their members.
“Only the state has the right to monitor. It is not appropriate for unions to try to regulate,” he said. He said that discussions were underway to determine the reference interest rate. Chairman of the National Cooperatives Federation of Nepal Minraj Kandel said that the federation had been working for the development of cooperatives by formulating a 10-year strategy. He said that the federation was doing its homework to create a dignified business and technology-friendly cooperative.
Out of 30,000 cooperatives, 14,000 cooperatives have savings and loans, he informed. He said that the cooperatives should invest in production now as a large part is in savings. Mayor of Godawari Municipality Gajendra Maharjan said that the state has not been able to solve the problem of cooperatives. He said that the cooperatives were facing problems due to the poor role of the state.
Chairman of Lalitpur District Savings Association Ram Hari Bajgain said that the association has been publishing financial statements every three months. He said that the cooperatives should also publish their financial statements within at least six months. "Publishing financial statements will help the cooperatives to be transparent and organised," he said.