Economist Prabhat Patnaik made this remark at the inaugural session of the international conference on 'Cooperatives in Transition in the Era of Globalisation', organised jointly by Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, and Uralungal Labour Contract Co-operative Society Ltd. (ULCCS Ltd) here on Thursday.
Patnaik, a former vice chairman of the Kerala State Planning Board under the Left government led by V.S. Achuthanandan, said the struggle for preservation of cooperatives must be integrated with the struggle to form a new order.
"The cooperative movement needs to emerge as an alternative economic order transcending the existing neo-liberal system. Cooperatives across the country could resist the decimation of peasant and petty production," said Patnaik.
In her address, Lise Grande, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP resident representative, New Delhi, said cooperatives provide stability in these turbulent times when the world is facing inequality, climate change and job loss.
"About 100 million jobs are being created by cooperatives across the world. Cooperatives look after its people better at a time when the corporates are laying their people off. The world is witnessing a cooperative renaissance and emerging as one of the solutions to the global crisis," said Grande.
Terming the ULCCS as a successful model for labour cooperatives, which has no parallel in the world, Grande said cooperatives like the ULCCS are important because they have shown us a winning way when the rest of the world is frantically looking for a solution.
ULCCS is a construction society established in 1925 and registered under cooperative societies act in this district where more than 2,000 workers, including 750 members and about 1,749 non-members, are working daily executing contracts from the public works department, national highways and similar government works.
--IANS (Posted on 19-09-2013)