State to promote co-operatives in healthcare, water supply

Proposes reservation for women, STs and OBCs in co-op institutions

The State government will encourage co-operative societies foraying into healthcare and water supply by providing them the necessary support.

Addressing a press meet here on Tuesday, Co-operation Minister B J Puttaswamy said  the government was willing to promote co-operative societies in new sectors. A recent initiative in Gadag, where three organisations joined hands to provide potable water to residents by setting up mini water treatment plants is a case in point, he said.

K H Patil Foundation, Hulkoti Co-operative Education Society and Rural Medical Society, in a joint initiative, have adopted reverse osmosis purification units to provide clean potable water to residents of Gadag.

Puttaswamy said he had recently laid the foundation for the Gurupadappa Nagamarapalli Co-operative Superspeciality Hospital in Lalbagh village of Bidar taluk.

In a bid to provide greater autonomy to co-operative sector, the government was planning to introduce several amendments to the Karnataka State Co-operative Societies Act, 1959. The law will be amended to restrict the maximum number of directors of a co-operative society to 21.

Timely elections and audit of co-operative institutions will be made mandatory, the minister said. Puttaswamy said a proposal to provide reservation for women, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes at all levels of the co-operative sector was under consideration.

While Scheduled Castes have been provided reservation at all levels, the benefit is confined to primary societies for other groups.

“It will be the first time in the country that reservation will be provided from the primary to the apex co-operative institutions. We propose to move the amendment bill in the next Assembly session,” Puttaswamy said.

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