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Neglect of cooperative institutions during demonetisation
On 8th November, 2016, the government took the decision of demonetisation and withdrew high denomination currency notes of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500. But a large level service provider for the society, from rural farmers to unorganized sector etc, the cooperative institutions were singled out and identified as suspect for changing of currency.

As per regulator RBI's instructions, RRB's, district cooperative banks and credit society were not allowed to perform the role of note exchange. RBI and the government were in fear and in doubt that these institutions could exchange currency in fraudulent manner which was surprising and shocking for cooperative institutions.

In the country's first five year plan, it was decided that every village will be supported by one school, one panchayat and one cooperative institution. As per NABARD, cooperative institutions are set up in the interior of every district of the country where nationalized banks still have not dreamt of reaching. Our government, economists, scholars are continuing talking about financial inclusion but walking on that path seems very risky and unsecure to them.

In this scenario also, cooperative banks took up the challenge and worked confidentially and added many people from rural unorganized sectors to banking. Cooperative institutions cover more than 97 per cent of Indian villages, some run by its members and some by the government. In 1951, there were 1.80 lakh cooperatives of all kinds in India and this number has now increased to 2.60 lakh non-credit primary cooperatives of all types.

Demonetisation decision is our country's biggest decision ever taken by any government after Independence which has long vision and will benefit at large to the society. We all will witness tremendous changes in the economy within few years and it would not be wrong to say that this decision will take us at least 10 years ahead. But its very sad and bad that cooperative institutions got neglected from this movement which could create a negative impact on the growth of cooperative institutions. But it was very painful that a few private and nationalised banks were caught doing exchange of notes in fraudulent manner which was very shameful for all the citizens.

In the journey of 120 years of cooperative institutions, their contribution towards the economy has increased. Even though people are showing faith, they are still facing problems during demonetisation. But the government could have handled it very easily to stop such issues. If cooperative institutions are not trusted, we may lose a large number of people from the movement of financial inclusion. Cooperative institutions are fighting for its presence. All executives from all cooperative institutions have been running behind cash arrangement.

The government should take very aggressive steps to support cooperative institutions, or this type of negligence could demolish our economy. The government should support cooperative institutions in a very positive manner and the basic fundamentals and their culture should not be changed.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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