The state government has ensured women's participation for strengthening the co-operative movement and provided 33% reservation to them in the management committees of the societies.
This was stated by chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal at a state-level function organised to mark the 59th National Cooperative Week at Bhareri in Hamirpur district.
Dhumal said, "As compared to 843 co-operative societies with a membership of 25,000 during the first five-year plan, the state now has 4,653 societies with 15.01 lakh members who have share capital of Rs 227.82 crore, deposits to the tune of Rs 11,786.88 crore and working capital of Rs 15,912.30 crore."
"The cooperative societies have released short and mid-term loans to the tune of Rs 5,100.28 crore and long-term loans for agriculture and non-agricultural activities, amounting to Rs 68.69 crore to bring about socio-economic reforms amongst farmers, horticulturists and other weaker sections of the society," said Dhumal.
Maintaining that the cooperative societies have been instrumental in making people available consumable commodities valued at Rs 174.67 crore under the public distribution system, Dhumal said cooperatives had marketed farm and horticulture produce to the tune of Rs 76.3 crore to ensure remunerative price of their produce.
"Self-help groups (SHG) have been constituted through cooperative banks and out of 61,664 SHGs, 75% are that of women," said Dhumal, adding that the second phase of Integrated Cooperative Development Project (ICDP) had also been launched in the districts of Hamirpur, Bilaspur and Sirmaur at a cost of Rs 35.47 crore.
"Approval in principle has been accorded by the National Cooperative Development Corporation, New Delhi, to launch the second phase in Kangra, Kullu and Shimla districts which will ensure financial provisions of Rs 87.31 crore," said Dhumal.
He said that cooperatives had been contributing significantly towards strengthening the public distribution system in the state and in providing people cost-effective essential commodities near their home.
Meanwhile, Dhumal honoured chairman of HP State Co-operative Bank, Chander Mohan Thakur, with Best Co-operator Award. Besides, some co-operative societies were honoured for their outstanding achievements in the co-operative sector during the year 2010-11.
'Will oppose FDI in retail'
Maintaining that the interests of the common man, farmers and other weaker sections of the society were dear to the state, Dhumal said the state would not allow Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in any sector in the state which would directly render a large number of petty traders jobless.