- Home and cooperation minister Amit Shah virtually launched the onboarding of cooperatives on the Government e-marketplace (GeM) portal.
- He announced that around 300 cooperatives, including Amul, Nafed and Iffco, have already come over to the platform.
- This will allow cooperatives to procure goods and services through GeM.
What’s in today’s article:
- Government e-marketplace (GeM)
- News Summary
In Focus: Cooperatives
What are cooperatives?
- Cooperatives are people-centred enterprises owned, controlled and run by and for their members to realise their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations.
- The aim of a cooperative is to work together in one direction with the fraternity.
- Principles of cooperatives include – Voluntary & open memberships, democratic member control, autonomy & independence, members’ economic participation etc.
Regulation of Cooperatives
- The item “Cooperative Societies” is in the State List (via entry 32).
- However, multistate cooperative societies are regulated by the Multi State Cooperative Societies (MSCS) Act, 2002.
- No state government official can exercise any control on multistate cooperative societies.
- In 2002, the then govt announced a National Policy on Cooperatives to support the promotion and development of cooperatives.
- The central govt is planning to bring a new cooperative policy soon.
- In July 2021, a new ministry of cooperation was created for cooperative societies in the country.
- It has been created with the vision of ‘Sahakar se Samriddhi’ (prosperity through cooperatives).
97th constitutional amendment and cooperatives
- The 97th constitutional amendment was passed by Parliament in December 2011.
- It had amended Article 19(1)(c) to give protection to the cooperatives and inserted Article 43 B and Part IX B, relating to them.
- In July 2021, Supreme Court quashed part of the 97th amendment.
- It held that the Parliament could not have introduced a law regulating cooperative societies within states, without first getting it ratified from half of the state legislatures.
- However, the SC stated that the act will remain valid with regard to multistate cooperative societies.
Government e-marketplace (GeM)
- GeM as a platform was launched to transform the way in which procurement of goods and services is done by the Govt Ministries and Departments, Public Sector Undertakings, other apex autonomous bodies, panchayats and now cooperatives.
- The GeM portal has been set up as the national procurement portal to provide an end-to-end online marketplace for these entities.
- The portal was launched in August 2016 by the Commerce & Industry Minister.
- It is a completely paperless, cashless and system driven e-market place that enables procurement of common use goods and services with minimal human interface.
- Union minister Amit Shah launched the process through which over 300 cooperatives have been onboarded as buyers on the GeM portal to help them purchase goods and services at competitive prices.
- Earlier, cooperatives were not allowed to register as buyers on the GeM platform.
- In the first phase, all eligible cooperatives, with turnover or deposits of ₹100 crore, will be able to start placing orders on GeM.
- The cooperatives were also asked to register themselves as sellers on the GeM platform.
- This would provide a huge platform to sell their products to a large pool of government buyers.
Key points of the speech delivered by the minister
- The Minister has asked cooperatives to change themselves by bringing transparency in their election process, recruitment and purchasing activities.
- He highlighted various steps being taken by the govt to bring reform in the cooperative sector. These included:
- framing a new cooperative policy, setting up a university for training purposes and establishing export houses.