ECONOMYNEXT - Sri Lanka has prepared a National Cooperative Policy to modernise over 14,400 cooperatives around the country serving eight million people, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce said on Wednesday.
With combined assets worth 418.4 billion rupees, the cooperative movement serves grass-root communities with a range of services from rural banking and insurance targeting agriculture, manufacturing, services, small and medium businesses, and women empowerment.
The national policy aims to simplify laws, introduce technology and good governance and ensure cooperatives are self-financing.
It also seeks to improve access for youth and women.
"The main goal is to modernise the country's 111-year old cooperative sector to be on par with other cooperative movements in the world," the Ministry of Industry and Commerce said.
The draft policy was formulated with assistance from the International Labour Organisation will be handed over to the Cabinet of Ministers for approval.
Sri Lanka's cooperative movement has eight million members and employs 46,000 people.
The consultancy process for the national policy began in 2008 and took ten years for cooperative ministers at provincial and district level councils and regional cooperative officials of 14,454 councils to reach consensus, the ministry said.