Cooperative Institutions have undoubtedly a significant role to play in bringing about sustainable development and giving fillip to the growth of the economy. This calls for strengthening of Cooperative Movement across the Jammu and Kashmir besides concerted efforts for revamp and rejuvenation of Cooperative institutions.
The Cooperative Department is striving to utilise the available opportunities for growth and development of Cooperative sector and in this direction various steps have already been taken and many are in offing. The first and foremost objective of the Department is to create awareness amongst the people that the Cooperative Sector has a vast potential to provide employment opportunities to the youth through conducting gainful commercial activities. To begin with, the Department has taken up the Cooperative Super Bazars for modernization so that these institutions come up on the lines of modern Shopping Malls.
Cooperative Movement in the country is now more than hundred years old but unlike Germany, Britain and other western countries where the Cooperatives have flourished, the Cooperative Movement in our country has not grown itself but the initiative has come from the above and the Movement has been thrust on the people. It was on the initiative of the Government when a senior Government servant namely Nicholson was deputed to Germany to study the Cooperative Movement there and accordingly propose a solution to the problems faced by the farmers in the rural areas of the country. Mr. Nicholson came with the suggestion/recommendation that the Cooperative Movement is required to be introduced in the country which can offer a solution to the problem of rural populace and eliminating the role of middlemen and moneylenders. In his report, he has reported “Find Raffison; by this, he was referring to great Co-operator Mr. Raffison of Germany.
Cooperative Credit Societies Act 1904 came into being which attempted to solve to some extent the problems of rural credit. The said Act was enacted to promote self-help groups, Thrift and Credit Cooperatives comprising of agriculturists and artisans and such persons of the society who had very small landholdings. However, over a period of years, improvements came to be made in the Cooperative Movement when in 1912, the Cooperative Societies Act 1912 came into being. Various sections of the said Act related to the position of Cooperative Societies and the powers of Registrar. The said Act revolved round two axis; Societies and Registrar.
The Cooperative Movement in Jammu and Kashmir was first institutionalized in 1913. The legal framework further updated in 1936, 1960, 1989, 1999. In tune with the National Policy , the State Govt. has introduced reforms both legal and structural in the Cooperative Movement from time to time. To encourage the Cooperative Movement is a promise under the Constitution of the State.