Asia Pacific https://www.ica.coop/en/regions/asia-pacific en South-East Asia’s early adopters – free fintech for Indonesian co-ops https://www.ica.coop/en/media/news/south-east-asias-early-adopters-free-fintech-indonesian-co-ops <span>South-East Asia’s early adopters – free fintech for Indonesian co-ops</span> <div class="field field--name-field-news-headline-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2017-02-02T12:00:00Z">Thu, 02/02/2017 - 12:00</time> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/en/users/media-team" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Media team</span></span> <span>Fri, 17/02/2017 - 18:40</span> <div class="field field--name-field-news-fullimage field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/full_image/public/news-item-fullimage/fintech-838303744.jpg?itok=izQYMpPa" width="590" height="315" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <!-- body --> <p>Indonesian co-operatives will receive free access to technology-based financial services, as part of a project developed by the ministry of Co-operatives and Small and Medium enterprises. The initiative is designed to allow co-operatives under the same network to be interconnected.</p> <p>Deputy minister for financing at the Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises department, Braman Setyo, said the use of financial technology in co-ops would likely generate trust among members of co-operatives and encourage them to deposit their money in co-operatives. He added that co-ops had to compete with other financial institutions that were already using financial technology.</p> <p>The deputy minister revealed that each province would have a co-operative involved in the pilot project. “The target is to achieve 40% of co-operatives to apply financial technology," he said, adding that he wanted co-ops to seize the opportunity to grow their business.</p> <p>Photo:&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 13.008px; line-height: 20.0063px;">Deputy minister for financing at the Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises department, Braman Setyo.</span></p> <!--/ body --> Fri, 17 Feb 2017 17:40:20 +0000 Media team 13629 at https://www.ica.coop Japanese agricultural co-operatives and family farming threatened by reform proposals https://www.ica.coop/en/media/news/japanese-agricultural-co-operatives-and-family-farming-threatened-reform-proposals <span>Japanese agricultural co-operatives and family farming threatened by reform proposals</span> <div class="field field--name-field-news-headline-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2014-05-30T12:00:00Z">Fri, 30/05/2014 - 12:00</time> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/en/users/janschiettecatte" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">janschiettecatte</span></span> <span>Fri, 30/05/2014 - 15:39</span> <div class="field field--name-field-news-fullimage field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/full_image/public/news-item-thumbnails/japan-1675739939.png?itok=pkme7YRK" width="467" height="269" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <!-- body --> <h4 align="center"><span style="font-size: 1.385em; line-height: 1.538em;">Proposed reforms threaten Japanese agricultural co-operatives&nbsp;and family farming</span></h4><p align="center"><u><a href="http://ica.coop/en/media/library/press-releases/japanese-agricultural-co-operatives-and-family-farming-threatened">Read the Alliance's press release on this topic</a></u></p><p align="center">&nbsp;</p><p><strong>The International Co-operative Alliance condemns a proposal to reform agricultural co-operative structures in Japan as an attack on the fundamental principles of the co-operative movement and a threat to the unity and welfare of farmer&nbsp;co-operatives in the International Year of Family Farming.</strong></p><p><strong>Brussels, </strong><strong>Sunday, 1 June</strong><strong>, 2014</strong>– On 22 May 2014, an advisory panel to the Japanese prime minister accepted a proposal to reform the structure of agricultural co-operatives in Japan.</p><p>Among the reforms proposed are:</p><ul><li style="margin-left: 35.7pt;">To dissolve existing multi-purpose agricultural co-operatives (encompassing credit, insurance, guidance, marketing and supplying) and force conversion to single-purpose agricultural co-operatives.</li><li style="margin-left: 35.7pt;">To dilute member ownership by insisting that more than half of agricultural co-operative board members must be either certified agricultural producers or business managers of private companies (both of whom might be non-members). Currently, in line with global co-operative principles, the law stipulates that two-thirds of board members must be farmer members.</li><li style="margin-left: 35.7pt;">To reduce the role and strength of the Central Union of Agricultural Co-operatives&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.538em;">(JA-Zenchu) by turning it into a think tank to promote agriculture.</span></li><li style="margin-left: 35.7pt;">To drive further deregulation by changing the ownership structure of agricultural land.</li></ul><p>Dame Pauline Green, President of the International Co-operative Alliance, said: “these proposals clearly attack the very fundamental principles of the co-operative movement – member ownership and control in particular. The integrated nature of the agricultural&nbsp;co-operative structures, primary multi-purpose agricultural co-operatives supported by unions and federations, mirrors those which have developed around the world. They have been a critical part of the success of co-operatives in Japan, and have contributed so much over the last 6 decades to the plurality of business models within the Japanese economy. Let us also not forget the huge contribution made by agricultural co-operatives to the recovery programme for those so desperately affected by the Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami – something the Japanese media themselves told me during my visit five months after the disaster.”</p><p>Pauline Green went on to say “The proposal totally disregards the values and principles of co-operatives and the whole global co-operative movement – owned by a billion of the world’s citizens – &nbsp;will stand with their Japanese fellow co-operators in opposition to the dismantling of the Japanese agricultural co-operative movement and the diminution of the members’ rights in this way. The United Nations has designated the year 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming, but this whole approach of the proposal goes against it. While the UN acknowledges that family farming contributes to sustainable agriculture and the environment, the proposal denies the value of family farming and tries to promote agriculture by corporations.” &nbsp;</p><p align="center"># ENDS #</p><h3>For further information contact</h3><p>Jan Schiettecatte<br><span style="line-height: 1.538em;">Communications Director</span><br><span style="line-height: 1.538em;">International Co-operative Alliance</span><br><a href="file://eurocoopsrv2011/UserShares/jschiet/ICA2/press%20releases/schiettecatte@ica.coop" style="line-height: 1.538em;">schiettecatte@ica.coop</a><br><span style="line-height: 1.538em;">Tel: + 32 2 285 00 76</span><br><a href="http://www.ica.coop/" style="line-height: 1.538em;">www.ica.coop</a></p><h3>&nbsp;</h3><h3>NOTES TO THE EDITOR</h3><h3>&nbsp;</h3><h3>About the International Co-operative Alliance</h3><p>The International Co-operative Alliance is a non-profit international association established in 1895 to advance the co-operative social enterprise model. The Alliance is the apex organisation for co-operatives worldwide, representing 268 co-operative federations and organisations across 93 countries (figures of May 2014). The Alliance’s members are national level co-operative federations and individual co-operative organisations.</p><p>The International Co-operative Alliance works with global and regional governments and organisations to create the legislative environments that allow co-operatives to form and grow. Towards media and public, the Alliance promotes the importance of co-operatives’ values-based business model.</p><p>Yearly, the Alliance publishes the World Co-operative Monitor, the index of the world's largest co-operative and mutual enterprises. The Monitor demonstrates the economic impact of co-operative enterprises worldwide. The 2013 Monitor revealed a total worth of USD $ 2 trillion for the world’s top 300 co-operative and mutual organisations, spread across 23 countries.</p><p>Operating from a global office in Brussels, Belgium, the Alliance is organised with eight Sectoral Organisations (Banking, Agriculture, Fisheries, Insurance, Health, Housing, Consumer Co-operatives, and Worker Co-operatives). The Alliance has four Regional Offices: Europe, Africa, Americas, and Asia-Pacific.</p><p>Further information about the Alliance’s Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade is available at <a href="http://www.ica.coop/">www.ica.coop</a>. Follow the Alliance on <strong>twitter</strong> at @icacoop. Like the Alliance's <strong>Facebook</strong> page at <a href="http://www.facebook.com/internationalcooperativealliance">www.facebook.com/internationalcooperativealliance</a></p><p align="center">* * *</p> <!--/ body --> <div class="field__row"> <h3 class="field field--name-field-news-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline field__label">Tags:</h3> <div> <div class="field__value"><div about="/en/tags/agriculture" typeof="schema:Thing"> <span class="tag--item tag--item_gray tag--item_big"><a href="/en/tags/agriculture"> <div property="schema:name" class="field field--name-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field__item">Agriculture</div> </a></span> <span property="schema:name" content="Agriculture" class="hidden"></span> </div></div> <div class="field__value"><div about="/en/tags/policy" typeof="schema:Thing"> <span class="tag--item tag--item_gray tag--item_big"><a href="/en/tags/policy"> <div property="schema:name" class="field field--name-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field__item">policy</div> </a></span> <span property="schema:name" content="policy" class="hidden"></span> </div></div> <div class="field__value"><div about="/en/tags/japan" typeof="schema:Thing"> <span class="tag--item tag--item_gray tag--item_big"><a href="/en/tags/japan"> <div property="schema:name" class="field field--name-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field__item">Japan</div> </a></span> <span property="schema:name" content="Japan" class="hidden"></span> </div></div> <div class="field__value"><div about="/en/tags/ica-asia-and-pacific" typeof="schema:Thing"> <span class="tag--item tag--item_gray tag--item_big"><a href="/en/tags/ica-asia-and-pacific"> <div property="schema:name" class="field field--name-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field__item">ICA Asia and Pacific;</div> </a></span> <span property="schema:name" content="ICA Asia and Pacific;" class="hidden"></span> </div></div> </div> </div> Fri, 30 May 2014 13:39:45 +0000 janschiettecatte 9872 at https://www.ica.coop National Federation of Rural Co-operatives (Induk KUD) https://www.ica.coop/en/media/news/national-federation-rural-co-operatives-induk-kud <span>National Federation of Rural Co-operatives (Induk KUD)</span> <div class="field field--name-field-news-headline-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2011-12-08T12:00:00Z">Thu, 08/12/2011 - 12:00</time> </div> <span><span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Anonymous (not verified)</span></span> <span>Thu, 08/12/2011 - 12:56</span> <!-- body --> <p>Induk KUD from Indonesia became an Associate Member of the ICA on 26 October 2011.</p><p>Induk KUD was founded on 12 November 1979 and serves as the national federation of rural co-operatives in Indonesia.</p><p>Induk KUD's mission is to help the co-operative movement expand joint business relationships, ensure creation and implementation of a business climate that supports co-operative survival and development, education and training, develop co-operative business, and improve the welfare of its members and as a result the community.</p><p>The apex organisation has a savings and loan business unit for members of staff, their members (direct and indirect), and potential members. They also procure and distribute goods such as raw materials and production facilities to increase production for members and staff. The body assists in helping members market and open up markets in domestic and foreign countries in the various sectors that their members are in – agriculture, fisheries, livestock, plantation, mining, forest and crafts.</p><p>Induk KuD currently has members in 27 provinces and have three overseas representative offices.&nbsp; In 2010 they represented 30 member societies with 9,437 co-operative members representing 13.4 individual members. They had 45 employees, 9 of which were women.</p><p>For more information on Induk KUD see&nbsp;<a href="http://www.induk-kud.com/" style="color: blue; text-decoration: underline; ">www.induk-kud.com</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <!--/ body --> Thu, 08 Dec 2011 11:56:19 +0000 Anonymous 2014 at https://www.ica.coop Mongolia National Co-operator's Association (MNCA) from Mongolia https://www.ica.coop/en/media/news/mongolia-national-co-operators-association-mnca-mongolia <span>Mongolia National Co-operator&#039;s Association (MNCA) from Mongolia</span> <div class="field field--name-field-news-headline-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2011-11-05T12:00:00Z">Sat, 05/11/2011 - 12:00</time> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/en/users/danielle" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">danielle</span></span> <span>Wed, 09/11/2011 - 12:37</span> <!-- body --> <p>Mongolia National Co-operator's Association (MNCA) from Mongolia became a Member of the ICA on 31 October 2011. MNCA was founded 8 May 2008 and is the national apex organisation representing co-operatives in Mongolia. They were established to provide leadership in sustainable development of the co-operative movement.</p><p>Their direct members are the national federations. Their aims are to collaborate on the international level and with the Government of Mongolia, provide policy and advocacy for co-operatives, and lead implementation of the co-operative development strategy in Mongolia. They promote and encourage the movement in Mongolia, provide capacity building for co-operatives, and work on enabling environment for co-operative development.</p><p>They have been successful in advocating for the national co-operative development program and strategy in Mongolia. In 2009, MNCA represented 130,000 individual members. They have 7 member societies, and 2 employees of which all are women. Their turnover in 2010 was USD 68,800.00. For more information:<a href="http://www.mongolia.coop/" style="color: rgb(67, 76, 156); ">&nbsp;www.mongolia.coop</a></p> <!--/ body --> <div class="field__row"> <h3 class="field field--name-field-news-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline field__label">Tags:</h3> <div> <div class="field__value"><div about="/en/tags/mnca" typeof="schema:Thing"> <span class="tag--item tag--item_gray tag--item_big"><a href="/en/tags/mnca"> <div property="schema:name" class="field field--name-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field__item">MNCA</div> </a></span> <span property="schema:name" content="MNCA" class="hidden"></span> </div></div> <div class="field__value"><div about="/en/tags/mongolia" typeof="schema:Thing"> <span class="tag--item tag--item_gray tag--item_big"><a href="/en/tags/mongolia"> <div property="schema:name" class="field field--name-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field__item">Mongolia</div> </a></span> <span property="schema:name" content="Mongolia" class="hidden"></span> </div></div> </div> </div> Wed, 09 Nov 2011 11:37:05 +0000 danielle 1630 at https://www.ica.coop Singapore co-ops leading the way in the provision of services for seniors https://www.ica.coop/en/media/news/singapore-co-ops-leading-way-provision-services-seniors-0 <span>Singapore co-ops leading the way in the provision of services for seniors</span> <div class="field field--name-field-news-headline-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2016-08-25T12:00:00Z">Thu, 25/08/2016 - 12:00</time> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/en/users/media-team" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Media team</span></span> <span>Thu, 23/02/2017 - 10:16</span> <div class="field field--name-field-news-fullimage field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/full_image/public/news-item-fullimage/singapore-seniors-travel-co-op-1102525378.jpg?itok=zEt3Dert" width="590" height="311" alt="Singapore seniors travel co-op" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <!-- body --> <p>Co-operatives are helping to improve the quality of life of senior citizens in Singapore. They provide a range of services, from employment, healthcare and travel services.</p> <p>“With Singapore’s rising ageing population, there is room for more co-operatives to emerge and meet the rising social needs and to continue being an integral social pillar that touches all Singaporeans’ lives. Groups looking to form a co-operative can approach the Singapore National Co-operative Federation (SNCF) for support,” said Dolly Goh, chief executive of the SNCF.</p> <p>In an article for a regional website, she highlights how co-operatives have helped displaced senior professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs).</p> <p>One such co-operative is Spec – the Singapore Professionals’ and Executives’ Co-operative. The co-op was set up by the Singapore Human Resources Institute in 2000 to help PMETs who had been left out of work due to the 1998 crisis. SPEC helps by providing job matching services, career counselling and coaching for this group of seniors.</p> <p>Another example is Silver Horizon Travel Co-operative, which was formed by a group of seniors who share a passion for travelling. The co-op works with travel agencies to customise the itinerary to provide affordable travel packages suited for seniors. Through SNCF’s effort in organising networking sessions for its affiliates, Silver Horizon has also attracted two Institutional members from two other co-ops to join the family.</p> <p>Photo:&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 13.008px; line-height: 20.0063px;">Silver Horizon Co-operative members during one of their trips.</span></p> <!--/ body --> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 09:16:53 +0000 Media team 13655 at https://www.ica.coop Dear RBI Governor, why single out Co-operative Banks? https://www.ica.coop/en/media/news/dear-rbi-governor-why-single-out-co-operative-banks <span>Dear RBI Governor, why single out Co-operative Banks?</span> <div class="field field--name-field-news-headline-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2016-11-23T12:00:00Z">Wed, 23/11/2016 - 12:00</time> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/en/users/media-team" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Media team</span></span> <span>Tue, 21/02/2017 - 18:05</span> <div class="field field--name-field-news-fullimage field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/full_image/public/news-item-fullimage/reservebankofindia146529817981-2124069379.jpg?itok=xYo2Bt6X" width="590" height="410" alt="Reserve Bank of India" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <!-- body --> <p><strong>By Balu Iyer, regional director for the Alliance for the Asia-Pacific region</strong></p> <p>The Government of India, under the leadership of prime minister Narendra Modi has taken bold and audacious steps to curb the flow of black money and prevent the counterfeiting of notes. The demonetisation of Rs.500 and Rs.1,000 notes have been lauded by the public; despite the sudden hardships and serious disruptions caused in their day-to-day lives. While people have been queuing up patiently at traditional counters such as banks and ATMs, they have also been making increasing use of credit cards and rapidly adopting mobile payments. One would think that this grand and well-intended national need would use all legitimate financial vehicles available at its disposal to ensure inclusiveness, improve efficiency, and mitigate hardship. It is therefore hard to fathom why Cooperative Banks with their vast reach across villages, where much of Bharat (villages) resides, have been put out of circulation by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).</p> <p>The population of India as per 2011 census was 1.2 billion. Of the 1.2 billion Indians, 833 million (68.84%) live in 640,867 villages, while 377 million stay in urban areas. The description of Hosur, a tiny village 10 km from Haliyal in Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka would fit the majority of villages in India, <em>“The village has no buses. People have to walk to Tatwanagi village, 2 km away, to catch a bus. There is no ATM either. Most of the villagers do not have bank accounts. Many keep their savings in the discontinued denominations. They have to exchange their money now and do not know where to go to exchange the old notes.”</em> As per the 2011 Census, 58.7% households (67.8% urban &amp; 54.4% rural) are availing banking services in the country. Thus, a significant proportion of the households, especially in rural areas, are still outside the formal fold of the banking system. According to RBI documents, there are 215,039 ATMs in India 40,345 of which are in rural areas and 58,433 in semi-urban areas. For a country of the size of India, the number of credit cards stands at 24.5 million. It is no surprise to see the following headlines these days - <em>Barter Economy Is Reborn in Villages as India Cancels Cash</em>; <em>Demonetisation effect: Unbanked villages, small businesses badly hit as currency crisis&nbsp;continues.</em></p> <p>India has made strides towards financial inclusion of Bharat and continues to make significant progress under the leadership of prime minister Modi. The <a href="http://www.centerforfinancialinclusion.org/publications-a-resources/global-microscope">Global Microscope 2016</a> report, which assesses the regulatory environment for financial inclusion across 12 indicators and 55 countries, gives high marks to India’s financial inclusion policy and even more its implementation. The report states that the Prime Minister's People Money Scheme (<a href="http://pmjdy.gov.in/scheme">Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana</a>), has the political will and institutional support of the government and the RBI. This is demonstrated with quantifiable goals, such as the opening of 100 million bank accounts for low-income families in 2014 and assisted by the <a href="https://uidai.gov.in/beta/">Aadhaar</a> national biometric identification programme. The plan also emphasises access to credit, insurance and pension facilities, as well as the goal of channeling all government benefits into beneficiaries’ bank accounts to increase usage. The RBI has targets&nbsp;to provide alternative sources of access through bank branches, <a href="http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/a-day-in-the-life-of-business-correspondent-in-odisha-when-the-bank-comes-home-4384990/">bank correspondents</a>, ATMs and satellite branches in villages of 2,000 or more residents and launch of the Unified Payment Interface (UPI) to facilitate digital money transfers. This is all well and good for tomorrow and the future. Over 90% of transactions in India today are cash transactions and more than 90% of the cash is not black money.</p> <p>Co-operatives have a long and cherished history in India. <a href="http://www.amul.com/">Amul</a>, India’s most beloved brand, has a model in which 15 million milk producers pour their milk in 144,500 dairy co-operative societies across the country. The <a href="http://www.iffco.in/">Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperatives</a> (IFFCO), the world’s number one co-operative in terms of turnover on GDP per capita, is celebrating its 50<sup>th</sup> year with a network of over 36,000 co-operative societies and reaching more than 55 million farmers in India. The <a href="http://ulccsltd.com/">Uralungal Labor Contract Cooperative Society</a> (ULCCS), a 92-year old co-operative, invested $100 million to develop India's first technology park (<a href="http://www.ulcyberpark.com/">UL Cyberpark</a>) in the co-operative sector. The <a href="http://www.sewabank.com/">Swashrayi Mahila Sewa Sahakari Bank</a>, SEWA members' largest co-operative, is the first of its kind in India owned by the self-employed women as shareholders. The <a href="http://buldanaurban.in/">Buldana Urban Credit Cooperative Society Limited</a> represents 750,000 members and carries out business in excess of USD $1.3bn each year. It was very distressing to hear its young chief executive,&nbsp;Dr Sukesh Zamwar at the 12<sup>th</sup> <a href="http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/karnataka/2016/nov/20/this-uttara-kannada-village-lives-in-peace-amid-cash-crunch-1540624.html%20%20http:/indianexpress.com/article/explained/why-activists-are-upset-with-census-disability-numbers/%20%20http:/www.t">International Cooperative Alliance Asia and Pacific</a> (ICA-AP) Regional Assembly rue about the angst created in their members and the loss of trust in the co-operative credit institution. “How do I face my members? How do I tell members that they cannot deposit or take money out of their own institution?” Dear governor, do you have an answer for Dr Zamwar?</p> <p>The rural credit co-operatives came into existence in the 1900s to provide credit to farmers at affordable cost and address the twin issues of rural indebtedness and poverty. Following independence, emphasis was given to develop the rural credit delivery system and increase the growth and volume of business in co-operatives. The three-tier rural credit structure consists of the Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS, at the village level), the District Cooperative Banks (DCBs) and the State Cooperative Banks (StCBs) and at the urban level, the Urban Cooperative Banks (UCBs). According to the <a href="http://nafscob.org/">National Federation of State Cooperative Banks</a> (NAFSCOB) report on the Performance of PACS (April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015) there were 92,789 (PACS) with a total membership of 121 million. Around 72% of these were viable and if the potentially viable were also added then the percentage would have been 94%. The 371 DCBs with 14,907 branches had 3,347,203 members (individuals and co-operative societies) and the 32 StCBs with 1,131 office had 555,479 members (individual and cooperative societies). The entire co-operative structure covers nearly all the 640,867 villages in India (a caveat that not all are functional)! Dear governor, all these co-operative banks and societies that serve in the millions have come to a grinding halt. A <a href="http://indianexpress.com/article/business/banking-and-finance/demonetisation-distress-messages-go-out-from-cooperative-banks-in-rural-india-4383357/">petition</a> filed in the Bombay High Court states by a UCB, “While there are huge queues lined up with public and private sector banks, the co-operative banks have been left out for want of legal tender adding to the chaos.”&nbsp;The petition points out that several hospitals, petrol pumps, medical stores have their accounts with the bank and they too will be affected. It states that there are 103,873 saving accounts being operated by individuals and 12,285 saving accounts of housing societies.</p> <p>It is not that all is well with the co-operative credit delivery system. There is rot and this needs to be systematically addressed. Various committees, most notably the <a href="https://www.rbi.org.in/scripts/PublicationReportDetails.aspx?ID=697">Vaidyanathan Committee</a> have stressed the relevance and importance of co-operative credit societies to the development of agriculture and rural economy and the need for systemic reform, which have unevenly taken place. The RBI in its own assessment and the recommendations of the Committee on Financial Sector Assessment ensured 25 State Governments signed the MoU for the financial assistance under the government of India Revival Package for STCCS; phased out banks that have failed to obtain a license before 31 March 2012; commended StCBs and DCBs on the reasonable financial strength and expressed satisfaction on the asset quality of these banks. There is still much more work to be done to respect centrality of members; root out vested political interest, improve governance, professionalise management, strengthen bottom line, adopt technology, and counter fraud. So far, the approach of authorities (the RBI and successive governments) has been to keep co-operative banks on life support as this has suited narrow interests - pay lip service and gain political mileage. Dear governor, pulling the plug now will kill the system (if that is the intention); but will leave millions in dire need and in a much worse situation for no fault of theirs.</p> <p>The support for co-operative banks to be allowed to engage in collection of deposits and exchange notes cuts across the political spectrum and across state boundaries. Among the chief ministers, those from Kerala (CPI-M), Orissa (BJD), and Punjab (SAD) have made fervent appeal to the RBI and Government of India. Farmers are starting to express their frustration by coming out to the streets. Some of the headlines in recent days:&nbsp; <a href="http://indianexpress.com/article/business/banking-and-finance/demonetisation-distress-messages-go-out-from-cooperative-banks-in-rural-india-4383357/">Demonetisation: Distress messages go out from cooperative banks in rural&nbsp;India</a>; <a href="http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Surat-farmers-demand-note-exchange-at-co-op-banks-threaten-to-stop-milk-supply-to-Amul/articleshow/55516000.cms?utm_source=toiiphoneapp&amp;utm_medium=Email&amp;utm_campaign=show">Surat farmers demand note-exchange at co-op banks, threaten to stop milk supply to Amul</a>;. The wisdom of the RBI in curbing functions of banks that fall under its ambit is unclear as is the lack of support to the co-operative banks from the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare under whose ambit co-operatives come under.</p> <p>As per the Government of India, Constitutional (97th Amendment) Act, 2011 forming a Cooperative Society is a fundamental right under article 19(1)(i). Not many countries give this cherished right to its citizens. In the words of Shri. R. Gandhi, deputy governor of RBI, “Co-operatives are an exalted position in India. How and why do I say so? There are very many types of economic entities like a proprietary firm, partnership firm, society, trust, company, body corporate, beside the co-operative. Of these, which one has got mentioned in the Constitution of India? It is co-operatives. That too, not just a passing mention; but, a full section on how co-operatives have to be formed, governed and operated.” Let these be not just empty words from the RBI; let the need of co-operatives members during this time of crisis not be denied; let the trust of members in their own institutions not be diminished; let the apprehension of few misusing not punish the entire co-operative banking machinery. Let us protect the fundamental right of citizens to organise and encourage institutions that put people at the center. This will make India shine brighter and make Mera Bharat Mahan!</p> <!--/ body --> Tue, 21 Feb 2017 17:05:53 +0000 Media team 13642 at https://www.ica.coop New report: The Co-operative Economy of New Zealand https://www.ica.coop/en/media/news/new-report-co-operative-economy-new-zealand <span>New report: The Co-operative Economy of New Zealand</span> <div class="field field--name-field-news-headline-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2017-02-06T12:00:00Z">Mon, 06/02/2017 - 12:00</time> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/en/users/media-team" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Media team</span></span> <span>Thu, 16/02/2017 - 21:24</span> <div class="field field--name-field-news-fullimage field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/full_image/public/news-item-fullimage/nz-flag2-866347139.jpeg?itok=Dp3IiTyH" width="590" height="315" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <!-- body --> <div>New&nbsp;Zealand’s UN-recognised (*) co-operative economy has been comprehensively mapped for the first time, revealing the significance of the sector in terms of revenue, jobs and membership, as well as differences between NZ’s and other co-operative economies globally.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>A&nbsp;new&nbsp;report,&nbsp;<a href="https://nz.coop/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Co-op-report-v9-WEB.pdf" target="_blank">The&nbsp;New&nbsp;Zealand&nbsp;Co-operative Economy</a>, finds that NZ’s Top 30 co-operatives and mutuals generate revenues of more than NZ$42.3 billion&nbsp;(US$30.88 billion, €28.69 billion)&nbsp;per annum which equates to 17.5% of NZ’s GDP, while being responsible for 1.4 million memberships and the employment of 48,500&nbsp;New&nbsp;Zealanders.&nbsp;The report is a collaboration between the national apex body, Cooperative Business NZ, and researchers from Massey University and the University of Auckland who&nbsp;say their report provides a much-needed glimpse into a sector of significant economic and social importance to&nbsp;New&nbsp;Zealand(population of&nbsp;4.7 million people).</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Co-operative Business NZ’s Chief Executive, Craig Presland, pictured, says “the report’s findings confirm that ours is one of the most co-operative economies in the world.&nbsp;The co-operative ethos of working together collaboratively for the common good is part of who we are as&nbsp;New&nbsp;Zealanders.”</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The International Co-operative Alliance applauds NZ.coop's statistics initiative, and will include its figures in the 2017 World Co-operative Monitor, to be published in November 2017. Download the monitor and check its figures on&nbsp;<a href="http://www.monitor.coop">www.monitor.coop</a>.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Visit&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nz.coop/" target="_blank">www.nz.coop</a>&nbsp;for more information and/or email&nbsp;<a href="mailto:craig.presland@nz.coop" target="_blank">Craig Presland</a>.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The report’s lead researcher, Dr Elena Garnevska from Massey University, is planning to present her team’s findings at the International Co-operative Alliance Committee of Co-operative Research Conference in Scotland in June.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>(*) The United Nations’ first ever&nbsp;Global Census on Co-operatives&nbsp;in 2014&nbsp;placed&nbsp;New&nbsp;Zealand&nbsp;at number one in its survey measuring the social and economic impact of co-operatives in 145 countries.</div> <!--/ body --> <div class="field__row"> <h3 class="field field--name-field-news-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline field__label">Tags:</h3> <div> <div class="field__value"><div about="/en/tags/new-zealand-cooperatives-association" typeof="schema:Thing"> <span class="tag--item tag--item_gray tag--item_big"><a href="/en/tags/new-zealand-cooperatives-association"> <div property="schema:name" class="field field--name-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field__item">New Zealand Cooperatives Association</div> </a></span> <span property="schema:name" content="New Zealand Cooperatives Association" class="hidden"></span> </div></div> </div> </div> <div class="field__row"> <h3 class="field field--name-field-news-geographical-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above field__label">Geographical Tags:</h3> <div> <div class="field__value"><div about="/en/taxonomy/term/11299"> <h2><a href="/en/taxonomy/term/11299"> <div class="field field--name-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field__item">New Zealand</div> </a></h2> </div> </div> </div> </div> Thu, 16 Feb 2017 20:24:47 +0000 Media team 13626 at https://www.ica.coop Singapore co-ops leading the way in the provision of services for seniors https://www.ica.coop/en/media/news/singapore-co-ops-leading-way-provision-services-seniors <span>Singapore co-ops leading the way in the provision of services for seniors</span> <div class="field field--name-field-news-headline-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2016-08-25T12:00:00Z">Thu, 25/08/2016 - 12:00</time> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/en/users/anca-voinea" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Anca Voinea</span></span> <span>Thu, 25/08/2016 - 13:52</span> <div class="field field--name-field-news-fullimage field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/full_image/public/news-item-fullimage/singapore-seniors-travel-co-op-673929240.jpg?itok=H1dapkJC" width="600" height="316" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <!-- body --> <p>Co-operatives are helping to improve the quality of life of senior citizens in Singapore. They provide a range of services, from employment, healthcare and travel services.</p><p>“With Singapore’s rising ageing population, there is room for more co-operatives to emerge and meet the rising social needs and to continue being an integral social pillar that touches all Singaporeans’ lives. Groups looking to form a co-operative can approach the Singapore National Co-operative Federation (SNCF) for support,” said Dolly Goh, chief executive of the SNCF.</p><p>In an article for a regional website, she highlights how co-operatives have helped displaced senior professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs).</p><p>One such co-operative is Spec – the Singapore Professionals’ and Executives’ Co-operative. The co-op was set up by the Singapore Human Resources Institute in 2000 to help PMETs who had been left out of work due to the 1998 crisis. SPEC helps by providing job matching services, career counselling and coaching for this group of seniors.</p><p>Another example is Silver Horizon Travel Co-operative, which was formed by a group of seniors who share a passion for travelling. The co-op works with travel agencies to customise the itinerary to provide affordable travel packages suited for seniors. Through SNCF’s effort in organising networking sessions for its affiliates, Silver Horizon has also attracted two Institutional members from two other co-ops to join the family.</p><p>Photo: Silver Hprizon Co-operative members during one of theie trips</p> <!--/ body --> Thu, 25 Aug 2016 11:52:22 +0000 Anca Voinea 13544 at https://www.ica.coop BCCM launches co-operative manifesto in the run up to elections in Australia https://www.ica.coop/en/media/news/bccm-launches-co-operative-manifesto-run-elections-australia <span>BCCM launches co-operative manifesto in the run up to elections in Australia</span> <div class="field field--name-field-news-headline-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2016-06-02T12:00:00Z">Thu, 02/06/2016 - 12:00</time> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/en/users/anca-voinea" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Anca Voinea</span></span> <span>Thu, 02/06/2016 - 11:08</span> <div class="field field--name-field-news-fullimage field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/full_image/public/news-item-fullimage/melina-morrison-1640563308.jpg?itok=lOlvpSDW" width="640" height="426" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <!-- body --> <p>With only two months left until the Federal election in Australia, the Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals (BCCM) is suggesting a number of policy changes to political parties in the country.</p><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px; line-height: 1.538em;">BBCM is suggesting reducing red-tape to enable more start-up businesses to register as co-operatives and mutuals. “Recognising co-operative and mutual enterprises and ensuring that these structures are as accessible in the business registration process as any other corporate structure is a very simple way to add to resilience and diversity in the economy,” says Melina Morrison, chief executive of BCCM. The organisation is also calling for further awareness raising to ensure beneficiaries of National Disability Insurance Scheme and indigenous communities are informed of this option and provided with opportunities to join or establish co-operatives that meet their specific needs.</span></p><p>BCCM is also calling for a specific focus on co-operatives and mutuals to address the need for social housing. Another problem mutuals face is the limited ability to raise external funds. BCCM suggests looking at investment rules that currently apply in Canada and the UK as a model of how to unlock member investment in mutual in Australia. <a href="http://bccm.coop/2016-federal-election-co-operative-policy-for-a-more-resilient-economy/#.V0cBeSMrL-Y">Read more on BCCM’s website</a>.</p><p>Photo: Melina Morrison, BCCM chief executive</p> <!--/ body --> Thu, 02 Jun 2016 09:08:18 +0000 Anca Voinea 13193 at https://www.ica.coop Call for papers: Asia Pacific Co-operative Research Conference https://www.ica.coop/en/media/news/call-papers-asia-pacific-co-operative-research-conference <span>Call for papers: Asia Pacific Co-operative Research Conference</span> <div class="field field--name-field-news-headline-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2016-06-02T12:00:00Z">Thu, 02/06/2016 - 12:00</time> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/en/users/anca-voinea" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Anca Voinea</span></span> <span>Thu, 02/06/2016 - 10:59</span> <div class="field field--name-field-news-fullimage field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/full_image/public/news-item-fullimage/new-delhi-skylineatrajivchowk-1696984937.jpg?itok=BQn0Eg52" width="600" height="243" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <!-- body --> <p>Co-operatives and sustainable development is the topic of the 11<sup>th</sup> Regional Research Conference of the Asia and Pacific Region of the International Co-operative Alliance. The conference will focus on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals announced by the United Nations last year.</p><p>The event, which takes place on 15 November in New Delhi, is organised by the Alliance’s Research Committee for Asia-Pacific. The committee is now inviting researchers to submit paper proposals on various themes such as what co-operatives are doing to end poverty; achieve gender equality; promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth; reduce inequality; end hunger, achieve food security; promote sustainable agriculture; and combat climate change.</p><p>To present their papers at the conference, researchers need to submit an abstract of maximum 600 words that mentions the research question, the methodology, the contribution to the field of knowledge and relevant literature. Abstracts can be sent to Ashok Taneja, secretary of the Alliance’s Research Committee for Asia-Pacific at <a href="mailto:taneja@icaroap.coop">taneja@icaroap.coop</a> by 30 June.</p><p>Researchers that will be invited to present at the conference will not have to pay a registration fee to attend the event. Three best papers from young researchers under 35 will be selected for awards (USD $500, USD $300 and, respectively USD $150). More information on the Research Conference and how to register <a href="http://ica-ap.coop/icanews/call-papers-11th-ica-ap-regional-research-conference">is available here.</a></p> <!--/ body --> Thu, 02 Jun 2016 08:59:25 +0000 Anca Voinea 13191 at https://www.ica.coop