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Rashtrapati Bhavan : 25.06.2013

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the 16th Indian Cooperative Congress at a function at Siri Fort Auditorium, New Delhi today (June 25, 2013).

Speaking on the occasion, the President said that it is in the institutions of co-operatives that the ideals of democracy and common good come to life. He said that he believed the need for these ideals in our political, social and economic lives has never been stronger. The theme for the Congress- "Cooperative Enterprises Build a Better World” was therefore most appropriate, he said.

The President said that Cooperatives are perhaps the best way of reaching out into the vast hinterland of this country where the poor and the marginalized sections live. He stated that Co-operatives must receive recognition as an important sector of our economy that serves marginalized and weaker sections. They must be made commercially viable and used effectively in areas where cooperatives can make an impact such as rural health, education, credit, water-harvesting, precision farming, tourism, communication and hospitality etc. They must not only figure prominently in our efforts to achieve inclusive development, they must also retain their character of being locally driven "by the members, for the members and from among the members”. Top-down approaches should be avoided and local initiatives encouraged. He stressed that Co-operatives must be managed by adequately trained and enthusiastic members.

On the occasion a book "Cooperative Surge Ahead” was released and its first copy was presented to the President.

Among the dignitaries present on the occasion were Union Minister of Agriculture & Food Processing Industries, Chief Minister of NCT Delhi and the Governors of Odisha and Gujarat.

This release issued at 1335 hrs