Prime Minister and CPN (Maoist Centre) Chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' viewed that the cooperative movement should be barred from becoming capitalist.
Addressing the national assembly of the cooperative employees organized by the party's Department of Land Management, Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation here today, the Prime Minister pointed out the need to develop the cooperative movement as a medium to lay foundation for socialism.
Dahal reminisced, "While promulgating the Constitution through the Constituent Assembly, we had held extensive, serious, multidimensional and multilateral discussions on political system, economic policy and governance system of the country. Based on those discussions, the Constitution mandated that Nepal as a socialism-oriented State."
Acknowledging the cooperatives movement as an important foundation of the socialism-oriented State, the Head of the Government highlighted the need to prevent the cooperative movement from becoming capitalist.
According to the report of the Department of Cooperatives, there were about 34,000 cooperatives in Nepal as of 2021, providing direct employment to more than 50,000 people and 100,000 employment opportunities in various sectors in the country.
The number of cooperatives was reduced later from 34,000 to less than 30,000 in the past few years due to inactivity of the cooperatives and merger with other cooperatives.
Stating that the Constitution had mentioned about a three-pillar economy based on the partnership among the public, private and cooperative sectors, the Prime Minister was of the view of bringing it into practice. "The cooperative role is vital to create a base for socialism envisaged by the Constitution and the creation of the foundation of socialism has its relation with the citizens' fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution."
Discourses are going on over the implementation of the Constitution and federalism. Some forces are trying to reverse our achievements and create hurdles in the building of a foundation for socialism, according to the Prime Minister who said the attitude to enforce capitalism in the cooperative movement is guided by the regressive mindset and psychology.
The Prime Minister said he believed that the creation of a base for socialism would never be possible sans connecting the cooperative movement to production. "In context of Nepal, agriculture is the major base for a sufficient economy and it is necessary for the State to internalize this fact and invest in agriculture. In case of industries, agro-based industries have higher possibilities for sustainability."
As he said, an agricultural cooperative is a tool to achieve a self-sufficient economy.
In the situation of the government getting expanded in full-fledge, it would now focus on policies, programmes and budget for the next fiscal year, he said. "I am leading the government in difficult times. I am moving ahead with determination to do something good for the country amid challenges. I have taken this as challenge-filled opportunities."
The government would get expanded full-fledged today or tomorrow, he said. "Stereotypical policies, programmes and budget could not address the country's problems, and cut through challenges of economy. So, something of new and different plans than in the past should be brought this time to have quality impacts on the country economy. We will do something new keeping in view of the power equation," he said.
Others present on the occasion were the Maoist Centre leaders, Agni Prasad Sapkota and Leelamani Pokharel.