Mr. K.D.S. Ruwanchandra
Secretary to the State Ministry of Cooperative Services, Marketing Development and Consumer Protection
As we all are well aware, the cooperatives in the past have played a critical role in the economic and social development of the country not only during difficult times but also business as usual serving the people. As a distinct part of the private sector and as an alternative or as the third force in the country’s socio-economic development, the cooperative enterprises continued to serve from grassroots to higher levels.
Taking another step towards an era of socio-economic prosperity for all Sri Lankans through the plan of actions of “Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour”, the State Ministry of Cooperative Services, Marketing Development and Consumer Protection is ready to play a key role taking the cooperative enterprises to greater heights. With our values and principles of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity, co-operatives are strong and lasting businesses that bring communities together. Cooperatives are created from a collective need making them true builders of sustainability as they help people reaching their aspirations and offer access to goods or services without exploitation to ensure a sustainable future for all of us.
We are here to gear up a more conducive and supportive national policy framework for the development and strengthening of cooperative enterprises with active participation of members and a sense of ownership. It is expected to establish “Prosperous Country-Strong Cooperatives” through this framework with the support of the Department of Cooperative Development, Provincial Departments of Cooperative Development, National Institute of Cooperative Development, Cooperative Employees Commission and Consumer Affairs Authority.
It is expected that the cooperatives have the potential of serving the people ensuring the access to goods and services without exploitation. The cooperative economic success and democratic governance could ensure that no one is left behind and therefore it contributes to eradicating poverty. Cooperatives are instrumental achieving food security and end hunger by allowing farmers to produce more and better quality food through the power of the collective.
We are committed to revitalize all cooperative societies through effective and selective interventions for the improvement and development. We reaffirm that we collaborate with all stakeholders to join hands to uplift cooperatives build a better world with social justice.
We wish long live cooperative movement!