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Southern States - Tamil Nadu Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Rural cooperatives may turn the corner

By S.Vydhianathan



Members of the PMK women's wing, led by the party president, G.K. Mani, staging a dharna at Valluvar Kottam, Chennai, on Tuesday, to protest against the Government takeover of IMFL shops. — Photo: K. Pichumani

CHENNAI DEC. 2. The task of selling Indian-Made Foreign Liquor in rural areas is likely to make many rural cooperative societies turn the corner.

A number of societies in rural areas are currently incurring losses, as their operating expense is more than the revenue earned. In fact, some primary agricultural cooperative banks are facing the threat of closure, as they do not generate enough revenue, according to Cooperative department officials. These PACBs had not paid either the annual interest or returned deposits to customers after the maturity period.

Rural cooperative societies, like the PACBs, primary cooperative marketing societies, primary cooperative stores and cooperative wholesales stores have set up 3659 shops as against 3731 shops allotted to them. All these shops are doing brisk business.

According to officials, there were no objections from the public on the location of a majority of shops. These according to them are mostly away from schools, residential colonies and place of worships. In places, where there were protests from the people, the societies had shifted the shops.

The officials said daily sales in many cooperative societies in the past three days were higher than expected. In some shops the sales had crossed Rs. 1 lakh. At this rate, they hoped many loss-making societies would achieve the break-even.

Unlike shops in urban areas where there were complaints of inadequate stock, cooperative societies had enough stock of the popular brand of IMFL. However, shops, which were earlier run by the wholesale cooperative societies in Chennai and other towns, are now entrusted to the Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation, there by depriving them of substantial revenue. Though these societies were allowed to run shops in rural areas, revenue from them was less compared to shops in towns. Cooperative supermarkets were not set up to sell liquor. They have many other articles. These supermarkets were expected to adopt aggressive marketing techniques to compete with their private counterparts. They were not expected to depend on liquor for their sustenance, the officials said.

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