By A Staff Reporter Kathmandu, July 5: Minister for Land Management, Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation Padma Kumari Aryal on Saturday asked the cooperatives in the country to supply data to the government about the employments they could create during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Cooperatives can also provide a critical support in generating jobs during this crisis. If you give the estimates of employments that you can create, the government is ready to amend the existing laws in order to open ways for cooperatives in multiple sectors,” she said while addressing a programme organised by the National Cooperatives Federation of Nepal (NCFN) on the occasion of the 98th International Cooperatives Day. She said that the cooperative sector should play a role in strengthening adaptation capacity at the time of climate change and pandemic like COVID-19. This year’s Cooperatives Day is celebrated with the theme of climate change. Minister Aryal accorded priority to cooperatives in employment generation. “To face the challenges in the economy, mobilise the capital in the productive sectors, make the most of local money, cooperatives have to play a crucial role,” she said. She was of the view that cooperatives should be present in every economic sector and pledged her support in easing the legal complexities to enhance cooperatives’ role in the society and family. Speaking on another note, she said that the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) was able to resolve the current intra-party dispute. “The party is continuously growing so there will not be any accident now and in the future. Such issues erupted in the past as well but we have come so far resolving them,” she said. Secretary at the Ministry Kedar Neupane asked the cooperatives to enhance the capacity of their members in terms of mitigating the impacts of climate change, resilience and adaptation. “Nepal is at the 20th position in the countries prone to multiple hazards and 4th in terms of climate change risks therefore extensive network of cooperatives should be used to fight against the challenges,” he said. President of the federation Minraj Kandel said that guideline for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was prepared for the cooperatives. On the occasion, Shuva Laxmi Coop of Gauradaha in Jhapa district was awarded with Rs. 1.5 million in cash. It received the money for its work to run coop-shop to promote and brand the local products. Minister Aryal handed over a cheque of the amount to the coop. Likewise, various cooperatives were awarded with National Cooperatives Prize. They include Nepal Federation of Credit and Saving Cooperatives Union, District Cooperatives Association, Banke, Small Farmer Agriculture Cooperative of Rautahat, Chandragiri SACOS of Kathmandu, Janauththan SACOS of Rupandehi, and Hariyo Hira Agriculture and Herbs Development Coop of Surkhet. Award selection committee’s coordinator Khem Pathak said that the prizes were distributed on the basis of cooperatives’ financial discipline and regularity.