Cooperatives urged to invest in productive sector

Kathmandu, Jan 5 . Concerns have been expressed over the cooperatives not been investing in the productive sector.

Moreover, they have been charged of charging excessive interest on the depositors of the cooperatives.

These issues were voiced by stakeholders and speakers in the 15th annual general meeting of the National Cooperatives Development Bank.

On the occasion, Minister for Land Management, Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation Padma Kumari Aryal said that the cooperative institutions were becoming profit-oriented rather than social service. She said although cooperatives have a key role to play in poverty alleviation, they were profit oriented.

It is estimated that the cooperative sector’s contribution to the GDP is around four per cent. There are 10,218 cooperatives mobilizing money in the country and they have Rs 4 billion capital collection, cooperatives campaigner Ganesh Timilsina said.

The National Cooperatives Bank, the common bank of the cooperatives, has capital of Rs 22 billion. But it is not found investing in the agriculture, tourism, industry and water resources sectors.

On the other hand, it is found providing dividend to its share holders. It distributed dividend totaling Rs 407.97 million (or 15 per cent of total investment) to its share holders in fiscal year 2017/2018.

The bank invested nearly Rs 13 billion in different sectors this year and of this only Rs 3.37 billion in agriculture sector.

Chairman of the National Cooperatives Federation Keshav Badal and Nepali Congress leader Bal Krishna Khand stressed on the need of mobilizing the cooperatives’ investment towards poverty alleviation.

On the occasion, National Cooperative Development Bank chair Ramesh Prasad Pokhrel presented the annual report of the bank for fiscal year 2017/2018.