Hyderabad: The Cooperation Department of Andhra Pradesh would soon set up cooperative societies in new segments like food retail, insurance, travel, health among others.
    
"The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2012 as 'the International Year for Cooperatives'. The Andhra Pradesh government has proposed to take measures to promote the cooperative movement and strengthen the cooperative sector in the state," Cooperatives Minister Kasu Krishna Reddy told reporters on Monday after a day-long seminar that discuss measures to strengthen the cooperative sector with various stakeholders here.
     
"Special emphasis will be on strengthening the activities of the existing cooperative credit societies by implementing Business Development Plans and at the same time registering cooperative societies in hitherto un-service areas and fields," he said.
     
In view of the growing population and transportation needs, the department is aiming to expand cooperatives in transportation sector with auto rickshaw/cab drivers' cooperatives, he said.
     
The other areas under consideration for starting cooperative societies are renewable energy and event management.
      
The government is keen to strengthen the cooperative sector to help farmers, the minister said adding the cooperative banks should enhance lending to the agri sector.
   
Plans are afoot to organise a national conference in the Andhra Pradesh capital to discuss ways to strengthen the cooperative sector by inviting senior leaders like Sharad Pawar and experts in the field, he said.
   
He also mooted the idea of introducing social audit to improve the effectiveness of services and accountability.

Agencies