Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur underlined the need to do away with obsolete acts and norms to strengthen the co-operatives in Himachal Pradesh.

“In co-operative sector the legal ambiguities and norms were required to be modified or replaced and assured that the state government after receiving suggestions would bring about certain changes in the Act and provisions,” he added.

He was presiding over the one day State Level Cooperative Conference with the theme ‘Challenges and Scope in 21st Century’, organised by the Department of Cooperatives at Solan on Monday.

Thakur said that HP needs to be given fillip to the co-operative sector and make it growth and profit oriented.

He said that though the state was doing well in agriculture and horticulture sectors emerging a role model for other states, but in few sectors there was need to follow the other states that have excelled in various fields through co-operatives.

“Himachal Pradesh has pioneered the Co-operative movement, but it was unfortunate that we were still lagging behind,” lamented Thakur, adding that unemployment which is a biggest challenge can be addressed through strengthening our co-operative societies.

The CM said that the outcome of such conferences should pave the way for effective implementation of the co-operative societies.

“If all political parties come together for a common cause it would certainly help in the development of the state,” he said, adding that he wishes HP to surge ahead in the co-operative sector.

The CM said that agriculture and horticulture sector were the priority of the government and we need to set up more processing units, create more infrastructure so as to help in sustaining longer shelf-life of the produce, which in turn would help the farmers.

He said that co-operatives can also play a pivotal role to boost tourism and he was looking forward for suggestions as how to go for it. Social Justice and Empowerment and Cooperative minister Dr Rajeev Saizal said that the first national co-operative was started in Panjawar village of Una district in 1892 and stressed for removal of impediments and make the state the leading one in the country in the field of co-operatives.

“We need to ponder upon as to why few societies were facing closure,” he said, adding that there was a vast scope of various activities to be undertaken by co-operatives right from fisheries, floriculture, bee keeping, tourism, hydel, diary, banking.

He said that the Department will target districts to launch co-operative movement in an effective manner soon.