Ready To Hold Polls To Cooperative Societies, Says Odisha Minister After HC Order

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has assured that it was ready to hold elections to cooperative societies in the state where polls are due.

The assurance came after the Orissa High Court directed the State Cooperative Election Commission to hold elections to the Sundargarh District Central Cooperative Bank and primary societies affiliated to it within a reasonable time.

Minister for Cooperation Ranendra Pratap Swain told mediapersons on Wednesday that the state government was ready to hold elections to the cooperative bodies.

Odisha has over 6,400 primary, 127 central and 19 apex cooperative societies. Elections to these societies were held in 2015. Polls were due in 2020 but the state government postponed them as the societies are grappling with severe financial difficulties.

Instead, the state government put government officials in charge of their management, which is still continuing.

The tenure of the management committees of 1,926 primary cooperative societies ended in January 2020.

Odisha has over 2,700 Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies (PACS) and Large Area Multi-Purpose Cooperative Societies (LAMPS) affiliated to 17 central cooperative banks. The Odisha State Cooperative Bank is the apex body. PACS and LAMPS meet about 70 per cent of short-term agriculture loans of farmers.

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