Cooperative industries can boost growth: Punjab minister

October 23rd, 2008 - 9:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, Oct 23 (IANS) Cooperative industries can play a major role in the overall development of Punjab, a state which has been witnessing slow economic growth in the past few years, Cooperation Minister Kanwaljit Singh said here Thursday. “Punjab’s economic growth is going at a very low pace in the last several years. Cooperative industries have a pivotal role to play in the state’s economic development if we channel them properly. The state needs to work along with the such industries to generate more profits,” he told reporters.

Lashing out at the economic policies of the central government, which according to him is widening the gap between the rich and the poor, the minister said: “We have reversed this approach in Punjab and started a multi-faceted cooperative movement here.”

“We have formed various milk societies, agri societies and farm societies that look after the welfare of poor farmers and labourers,” Kanwaljit said.

He, however, admitted that in cooperative sector, Punjab was still lagging behind states like Gujarat.

“Yes, Amul brand leads the market, but we are also fast catching up. Our Milkfed brand has improved manifold and our milk procurement has increased 30 percent, compared to last year. Demand of Verka products has also gone up,” the minister said.

Markfed is planning to set up a Rs.550-million food processing complex in Ludhiana. “We are also working to provide an alternative to wheat-paddy rotation by ensuring high returns to farmers in dairy business and in high-value cropping,” Kanwaljit said.

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