India

Amit Shah is happy with “unprecedented” decisions for the cooperative sector in the Union Budget.

From increasing the budget for the Ministry of Cooperation to giving cooperatives tax breaks and setting up “massive” decentralised storage space, the Union Budget for 2023ā€“24 has a lot to say about the cooperative sector.

In her budget speech, Sitharaman said, “The government is promoting an economic development model based on cooperatives for farmers, especially small and marginal farmers, and other groups that have been left out. A new Ministry of Cooperation was made, and its job is to make the “Sahakar Se Samriddhi” vision come true. To make this dream come true, the government has already spent Rs 2,516 crore to computerise 63,000 Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS). Model bye-laws for PACS were made with input from all stakeholders and states. This lets PACS serve more than one purpose. A national cooperative database is being made so that cooperative societies across the country can be mapped.

“In light of this, we will put into action a plan to set up a lot of decentralised storage space. “It will help farmers store their crops so they can sell them at the right time and get good prices,” Sitharaman said.

The Finance Minister also said that the cooperative sector would get tax breaks. For 2023-24, Rs 1,149.38 crore has been set aside. This is more than the BE of Rs 900 crore for 2022-23, but less than the revised estimates for this year, which are Rs 1,624 crore.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said about Budget 2023-24, “This budget will make cooperatives the centre of economic growth in rural areas. The government has set up the biggest food storage plan in the world in the co-operative sector.

Amit Shah, Minister of Home and Cooperation, called the decisions “unprecedented” and said, “With the plan to set up the world’s largest decentralised storage capacity, farmers in cooperative societies will be able to get fair prices.”

Shah said that in the next 5 years, the government will also set up new multipurpose cooperative societies, primary fisheries societies, and dairy cooperative societies in every panchayat.

Shah also liked the news that sugar cooperatives will be able to include payments made to farmers before 2016-17 as part of their expenses.

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