The Centre on Tuesday created a new portfolio ‘Ministry of Cooperation’ to provide a separate administrative, legal and policy framework for strengthening the cooperative movement in the country ahead of a reshuffle of the Union Council of Ministers on Wednesday.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had made the announcement for creation of a separate Ministry for Cooperation in her Budget speech.
Hailing the decision, BJP general secretary (Organisation) recalled that Modi had first created the Jal Shakti Ministry and now the Cooperative Ministry. "This will go a long way in strengthening the rural economy," he said.
Union Minister Piyush Goyal said this will give a massive boost to the cooperative movement and create a "true people's momentum" for development.
An official statement said the new ministry will work to streamline processes for ‘ease of doing business’ for cooperatives and enable development of Multi-State Cooperatives (MSCS).
It is expected to help deepen cooperatives as a true people based movement reaching upto the grassroots. The government called the move a "historic" one, saying it has been created for realising the vision of ‘Sahkar se Samriddhi’.
Noting that in the country, a cooperative based economic development model is very relevant where each member works with a spirit of responsibility, the statement said that the central government has signaled its deep commitment to community based developmental partnership.
The ministry will work to streamline processes for 'ease of doing business' for cooperatives and enable the development of multi-state cooperatives (MSCS).
The central government has signalled its deep commitment to community-based developmental partnerships. The creation of a separate ministry also fulfils the announcement made by the Finance Minister in the Union Budget, they added.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, "Cooperative movement is integral to achieve inclusive development at the grassroots. My compliments to Adarniya Pradhan Mantri @narendramodi ji for putting this movement on national priority by creating a dedicated Ministry of Cooperation. This is a giant leap forward."
Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwath Narayan tweeted, "Prosperity through cooperation! A noteworthy move by PM Shri @narendramodi government to strengthen grassroot development & cooperative movement in the country. Creation of a new Ministry of Cooperation shows Govt's deep commitment to community-based developmental partnership."
Modi government had in August 2015 renamed the Ministry of Agriculture as the Ministry for Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare months after massive protests to its new land Bill, which it had to finally withdraw after the Opposition sought to paint the government as "anti-farmer".
Renaming ministries like the Ministry of Environment to the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, of the Ministry of Animal Husbandry to the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying and of HRD to the Education Ministry was also done in the past.