LAHORE:Punjab Minister for Cooperatives Basharat Raja has said that cooperatives in Punjab will be shifted to agriculture and livestock sectors as the focus of cooperatives in other countries is on agriculture and livestock. However, he noted, cooperatives in Pakistan are considered to be limited to housing sector only.
He was presiding over a meeting on restructuring of Punjab Cooperative Department. Secretary Cooperative Punjab gave a briefing on the ongoing reform programmes. The minister expressed his satisfaction over the fact that last year, on the direction of Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, the Cooperative Department had disbursed agriculture loans worth Rs1.536 billion to 26,897 farmers of the province. “Out of the total paid Rs1.517 billion was successfully recovered”, he said. Provincial Minister Basharat Raja said that under the vision of the Prime Minister, 21 Farm Service Centres were set up in Punjab to provide agricultural machinery and equipment to the farmers. “To improve the service delivery of the department, the Punjab government has made 24 amendments to the Cooperatives Act”, he noted. He said that in a short span of time, 36 properties worth Rs57 billion owned by the Cooperative Department were retrieved. “Paying 14.37 billion claims in one year is a significant achievement”, observed the minister. The minister said that the department had done geo-tagging of all the 232 housing societies. The process of computerisation of mutual aid records is under way, he concluded.