Labour Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar on Thursday pitched for a separate ministry for promoting cooperatives in the country, saying they are effective institutions where people can find job opportunities.
Currently, cooperatives come under the aegis of the Agriculture Ministry.
"There is a need to form Ministry of Cooperatives so that cooperatives can develop as professional and effective institutions for playing an important role in socio-economic development of the country," Gangwar said at the inaugural function of 66th All India Cooperative Week organised by the National Cooperative Union of India (NCUI).
Cooperatives are effective institutions where people can find opportunities for jobs. However, there is a need to rise above politics so that cooperatives can function professionally, he was quoted as saying in a statement.
Cooperatives can be the best institutions for welfare of women and backward classes of the society, he added.
Gangwar further said the government is committed to the welfare of labour force in the country. The Labour Ministry has been giving priority to simplification of the labour laws.
Speaking on the occasion, International Cooperative Alliance (Asia-Pacific Region) Regional Director Balu Iyer said aspirational youth are looking forward to cooperatives as a start-up, and they need to strengthen and professionalise themselves so that they not only provide job opportunities to youth but also make them entrepreneurs.
He further said that cooperatives can be the best institution for doubling farmers' income.
Earlier, NCUI President Chandra Pal Singh Yadav said the government should support and strengthen cooperatives.
Pointing out that India is the biggest cooperative movement in the world, he said cooperatives need to be provided tax relief at a time when corporates are given tax relief.
"Cooperatives should not be discriminated in this regard", he added.