New Delhi:  Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who has been given additional charge of the newly created Ministry of Cooperation, has long been associated with the cooperative societies in Gujarat.

His Gujarat model in the cooperative sector has hogged headlines in the past, as he was once called the father of the cooperative movement in the state. His work in the cooperative sector in Gujarat is remembered even today.

The ministry of cooperation has been created to provide a separate administrative, legal and policy framework to strengthen the cooperative movement in the country and will help deepen cooperatives as a true people based movement reaching up to the grassroots.

The ministry is likely to have the same importance as the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Amit Shah has been the convener of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s National Cooperative Cell (SAIL) in Gujarat. He was also the youngest chairman of the Ahmedabad District Co-operative Bank (ADCB) at the age of 36. During his stint, in just one year, Shah not only broke even the bank’s loss of Rs 20.28 crore but also brought in a profit of Rs 6.60 crore. For this achievement in the cooperative sector in Gujarat, Amit Shah was called the father of the cooperative movement.

Some states have cooperative departments, but till now there was no separate ministry for this at the central level. The Ministry of Cooperation is likely to streamline the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ processes for cooperatives.

The country has cooperative based economic development model, according to which every member works with his own sense of responsibility. A senior official of the government said, “The formation of the Ministry of Cooperation will bring prosperity in the agriculture and rural sector. That is why the government has taken this historic decision to realize the dream of people. It will work towards the welfare of farmers and making their businesses self-reliant.”

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