ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Co-operative Movement in Maharashtra-Retrospect and Prospect

Retrospect and Prospect G S Kamat MAHARASHTRA carved out for itself a niche in the Indian co-operative movement over the years. Historically, the birth of cooperatives, particularly in the agricultural sector, was on account of the Deccan Riots of 1875 which brought to the surface the farmer's grievances against the exploitative moneylending groups, The Deccan Riots Commission recommended solutions in two directions: (i) putting a check on the activities of the moneylender, and (ii) instituting an agency that would compete with him in the supply of credit. The Deccan Agriculturist's Relief Act was passed in 1879 by the Government of India. But the setting up of co-operative credit societies was delayed till 1904 when the first Co-operative Societies Act was passed for the country. Table I gives the overall position of cooperative societies in the state since its formation in 1960. It will be seen from Table 1 that there has been a steady growth of the co-operative movement in diversified directions. The predominance of credit cooperatives is clearly seen. All the villages have been covered by a network of 18,521 primary credit societies. Their number will show a gradual decrease due to increase in the size of primary societies under the scheme of amalgamation approved at the national level.

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