October 8, 2020 | Investopaper
National Cooperative Development Board (NCDB) has handed over the 25-year strategy of cooperatives to Minister for Land Management, Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation Padmakumari Aryal. There are about 35,000 cooperatives across the country. As many cooperatives have been trading only in savings and loans, the contribution of cooperatives to the GDP has not increased.
The government has given priority to poverty alleviation and job creation in the Fifteenth Plan. It states that the country’s economic growth will remain at a fixed rate of 10.5 percent in the next 20 years. Minister Aryal said that they will move ahead by making an action plan to implement the strategy.
Cooperatives are contributing 3 percent to the GDP. Minister Aryal said that the goal is to increase the contribution of cooperatives to 15 percent of the GDP in the next 25 years. About 31 percent of the economically active (over 15 years) population are currently members of cooperatives. It is mentioned in the strategy to increase it to 75 percent within the next 25 years.
The government plans to reduce the number of cooperatives by two-thirds by merging them in the next 25 years. Agricultural cooperatives will contribute 5.92 percent, non-agriculture 5.41 percent, service related cooperatives 3.22 percent and savings and credit cooperatives 0.45 percent in the next 25 years.
The current investment of Rs. 332 billion is projected to reach Rs. 653 billion in the next five years. This projection is about 11.45 percent of the GDP. Similarly, the government estimates that the investment will be Rs 1,140 billion in the next 10 years, Rs 1,943 billion in 15 years, Rs 3,265 billion in 20 years and Rs 5,444 billion in 25 years.
In the next five years, cooperatives will have 7 million members. The government estimates that the number of cooperative members will reach 14 million in the next 25 years. According to Poudel, co-chairman of the board, 90 percent of the households in the country will be involved in some form of cooperative in the next 25 years.