From Our Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network - Bangalore
Bangalore, Nov 13: Encouraged by Karnataka’s Cooperative Department in successfully handling the disbursement of crop loans to farmers, distribution of fertilizers and seeds to agriculturists as well as foodgrains under rationing along with the milk marketing through the State Milk Federation, the State Government is seriously examining a proposal to entrust the management of health and drinking water sectors also to the cooperative sector.
''The idea is to ensure that the benefits of these vital sectors reach the masses with the direct involvement of the people through the cooperative institutions,” Cooperative Minister B J Puttaswamy indicated in Bangalore on Tuesday.
The cooperative department and the large network of cooperative bodies envisage direct involvement of the people, the minister said pointing out that the Yeshaswini health insurance scheme was a success story in this regard.
The foundation stone for constructing a 500 bed hospital has already been laid in Bidar, he said mentioning that the hospital was being managed by a cooperative society.
Rs 200 Cr Hospital by a Cooperative in Bidar
The hospital would be built at a cost of Rs 200 crore and it is a big feather in the cap of the cooperative sector, he said.
Puttaswamy said cooperative sector has already proved that management of drinking water can be effectively handled to the utmost satisfaction of the people without any big financial burden on them, he said the former Cooperation Minister and Congress leader H K Patil had taken the lead in this regard in many villages of Gadag district.
The Department would encourage formation of such cooperatives to run and maintain drinking water supply utilities in villages, he said.
Cooperatives being community centric organisations have to be promoted to ensure potable drinking water to all people in villages, he said.
Already, village committees have been formed in north Karnataka villages under the Jal Nirmal Project aided by the World Bank.
The Government would promote such committees to function on lines of cooperatives, the Minister said.
59th All India Cooperative Week
The 59th All India Cooperative Week would be held from November 14 to 20 and the inaugural programme would be held at the Kala Mandir on Mysore-Hunsur Road on Wednesday.
The Minister said delegates and members of the cooperatives societies would discuss “Cooperative Enabling Legislation, including Direct Tax Code Bill.”
The Bill proposed to deduction of income of cooperative society from banking activities.
The Direct Tax Code Bill proposed by the Centre would not safeguard the interest of cooperatives and purpose for which they were formed in rural areas.
The second programme of the Cooperative Week would be held at Yadgir on Thursday and it would discuss “inclusive and equitable growth though cooperatives.”
The third programme would be held at Hospet in Bellary on Friday.
Members would discuss issues related to “strengthening and promoting value addition in cooperatives,” they said.
Experts and members would debate on “promoting cooperatives in new areas including services and potable drinking water” at a programme at Gadag on November 17 while “professionalisaiton of cooperatives” would be debated at a meting in Bangalore on November 18.
Members would meet at Shimoga on November 19 and would discuss on “cooperative and entrepreneurship day.”
The valedictory programme of the Cooperative Week would he held at Belgaum on November 20. The topic for the discussion was “empowerment of women and weaker section though cooperatives,” Puttaswamy said.
On the occasion of the 59th All India Cooperative Week, the State Government will honour seven persons with Cooperation Awards for their contributions in the field of cooperative movement.
The award comprised of cash of Rs 50,000, a medal and a certificate.
The award winners are: R P Ravishankar (Bangalore urban), H N Vijayadev (Bangalore division), Halase B Shivanna (Mysore division), Prakash I Thapashetty (Belguam division), Vishwanatha C. Hiremath (Gulbarga division), C N Mahalaxmi (women category), and R S Huchachari (retired employee category).
Huchachari served as the joint secretary in the Cooperation Department and retired recently.
The State Government has been giving Cooperation Awards since 2003.
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