For the first time, nine cooperatives merge

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Sep 2, 2014-

Nine savings and credit cooperatives and a multipurpose cooperative have merged to become “Hamro Sagarmatha Multipurpose Cooperative Limited”. The new entity started its formal operations on Tuesday.

This is for the first time in the history of cooperatives in Nepal that such a mega merger has taken place, according to the Department of Cooperatives (DEoC).

Among the cooperatives that have merged, six are from Kathmandu, two from Lalitpur and one from Kavrepalanchok.

The Kathmandu-based cooperatives are Janata Multipurpose and its service centre, Swayambhu Dallu Savings and Credit, Shuva Laxmi Savings and Credit, Hausala Multipurpose, Hamro Gaun Savings and Credit and Valley Multipurpose. Sagarmatha Multipurpose and Himshikhar Savings and Credit are from Lalitpur, while Mega Savings and Credit from Bhakundebesi, Kavrepalanchok.

Speaking at the inauguration of the new entity, its Chairman KB Upreti said the merger was aimed at providing quality service amid a mushrooming of cooperatives. “This will help equip the new cooperative with diversified technologies and skilled manpower as most of the cooperatives that have merged have been in the business for the last 15 years,” said Upreti.

After the unification, Hamro Sagarmatha has a share capital of Rs 150 million, while the number of members has reached 15,000. The turnover of the cooperative amounts to Rs 1.50 billion.

Upreti said the new entity plans to focus on investing in production businesses for import substitution and export promotion, besides promoting employment generation. Hamro Sagarmatha has opened 14 service centres in Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Kavrepalanchok.

DEoC officials said the merger would open a “floodgate” of mergers in the days to come. “A total of 17 cooperatives are merging in Dolakha,” said Bishnu Prasad Ghimire, under secretary at DEoC. “We expect 500 cooperatives to merge to bec ome 150 this fiscal year.”

Amid growing number of cooperatives, the department had last year introduced the Merger Working Procedure to facilitate the merger of cooperatives. As of the last fiscal year, there are more than 31,000 cooperatives, and a majority of them are savings and credit cooperatives, which operate in urban areas.  However, funds embezzlement at a few cooperatives has overshadowed good deeds of many rural area-based cooperatives.

During the programme, former Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai said the merger could also encourage cooperatives that are not doing well.

Published: 03-09-2014 09:32

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