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Most of the govt cooperative societies now inactive.

News Report The 47th National Cooperatives Day will be observed in the country today (Sunday) under the auspices of the Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives Ministry. The theme of the year is 'Let's build cooperative- based society, ensure sustainable development.' President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages greeting all co- operators on the eve of the day. President Abdul Hamid, in his message, said that the cooperatives are playing important roles in women empowerment including rural poverty alleviation, new employment generation, marketing of the commodities and ensuring of fair price of the goods. Highlighting different aspects of the cooperatives, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the cooperatives are playing important roles in the socio-economic development of the country.

At present, the country has 1,74,700 cooperatives with 1,09,00000 members, she said, adding that peoples irrespective of different professionals are reaping the benefits from agriculture, fisheries, livestock, savings, distribution of credit, dairy and cottage industries, garments, housing, banks, insurances, commodity marketing, Asrayan and Ekti Bari Ekti Khamar under the cooperatives society. The day will be observed amid holding of different programmes including rallies, discussions, distribution of the national cooperatives award and cultural functions. The department of cooperatives has chalked out elaborate programmes to observe day in a befitting manner. The programmes include rally, hoisting of national and cooperatives flags, screening of documentary film, illumination of roads and road-side islands, discussion, prize distribution and cultural function. The day will also be observed at upazila, district and divisional levels in a befitting manner.

When National Cooperatives Day is being celebrated today with the hope of bright prospects of cooperative enterprises, then the condition of the most of cooperative societies in our country are in very bad shape. It can be here mentioned the constitution of Bangladesh attributes that the cooperatives will play a vital role in the economy, but the cooperatives have become a less important issue now due to proper steps and irregularities in the sector. With the hope of being benefited form the principals of cooperative, the Department of Cooperatives (DoC) was established as an attached department under the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives. It was established as the principal government organisation responsible for facilitating economic growth and poverty reduction effort to the government. But, it is unfortunate the department has failed to play its responsible role in generating employment opportunities and alleviating poverty in the country. The Department of Cooperatives (DoC) and cooperative societies under the regularity body are now involved in irregularities like other institutions of the government.

Especially, most of the cooperative societies established under the government patronisation are now inactive although they have huge properties. There is an allegation that a section of people are misappropriating the properties, and the common cooperators are not being benefited from the societies. But if we had made the sector effectively functional and free from corruption it would have reduced dependency on foreign aid and contributed to a sustainable economy, creating huge employment opportunities and alleviating poverty in the country. Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has recently unveiled the findings of the study 'Cooperatives Management: Challenges of Good Government and Way Forward'. The study reveals that 47 percent of cooperatives are dysfunctional due to the existing various limitations of regulatory and supervising bodies and internal problems of the cooperatives.

Atikur Rahman, convener of Naya Samobay Andolon and cooperative researcher, talking to the News Today said that the government now should form a separate cooperative commission in a bid to give a boost to the country's cooperative sector. Most of the cooperative societies established under the government patronisation are now inactive and the common cooperators are not being benefited although the societies or organisations have huge properties, he said. He also opined that the government should take pragmatic steps to form a separate cooperative commission with a view to re-launching inactive cooperatives societies and reducing corruptions and mismanagements of organizations.
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Publication:The News Today (Dhaka, Bangladesh)
Date:Nov 25, 2018
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