The department works for the development of Co-operatives in the state. The Cooperative movement is rooted in people's organisation based on 7(seven) basic principles:
- Voluntary and open membership
- Democratic members control
- Members economic participation
- Autonomy and Independence
- Education , Training and Information
- Cooperation among cooperatives and
- Concern for the community.
Cooperatives are autonomous associations of persons united voluntarily to meet their common, economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise. They imbibe the values of self help, self responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity.
Due to the misuse and abuse of agency system for rural credit by landlords, money lenders, zamindars during British Rule in India , there were great consternation and revolt by farmers in some parts of India. This led to search for some reform models. The first Cooperative Society Act of 1904 was enacted to enable formation of "agricultural credit cooperatives". The 1904 Cooperative Societies Act was later repealed by 1912 Cooperative Societies Act which provided for formation of Cooperative societies other than credit. In 1919 there was Administrative Reforms and Cooperatives were made a provincial subject making each province responsible for Cooperative movement and development. In 1942, the Multi-Unit Cooperative Societies Act, 1942 was enacted by the Government of India with an object to cover societies whose operations are extended to more than one state. Later, in 1984, the Government of India enacted a comprehensive Act known as Multi State Cooperative Societies Act, 1984, which also repealed the Act of 1942. On the recommendation of the Mirdha Committee and the "Model Cooperative Societies Act" the Government of India enacted the Multi State Cooperative Societies Act, 2002 which provided for democratic and autonomous working of the Cooperatives. The Multi State Cooperative Societies Act, 2002 came into force with effect from August 19, 2002 .
After independence Assam passed its own cooperative act namely the Assam Cooperative Societies Act, 1950. With the coming into being as an Autonomous State on 2nd April 1970, Meghalaya inherited 472 Credit Co-operative societies. In 1976 Meghalaya adopted the legacy Assam Act.
The office of the ARCS was established in Shillong in 1948. Cooperative was organised in Tura for Consumer Goods during Second World War. During 1971-72, there were a total of 953 Cooperative societies in Meghalaya with a total membership of 57 thousand, Rs. 32 Lakhs of share capital and 133 Lakhs of working capital. Historically the societies were not in good health due to poor management, lack of supervision, absence of full time trained secretaries, absence of linkage of credit with marketing, low yield from traditional method of cultivation, absence of marketing facilities of farm produce and lack of co-operative education and vested interest etc.
A master plan was formulated by the Reserve bank of India in 1974 in consultation with the Registrar of Co-operative Societies and Meghalaya Co-operative Apex Bank for re-organisation and revitalization of base level primary co-operatives, which resulted in the emergence of 180 re-organised Service Co-operative Societies (popularly known as P.A.Cs) in the whole State of Meghalaya. All the re-organised Service Co-operative Societies were having full time paid secretaries and they were designed for multipurpose activities, such as dispensation of credit, distribution of fertilizer, improved seeds and other inputs, supply of consumer goods, marketing of surplus agricultural products etc and are for the purpose of rural credit termed as P.A.C.S. (Primary Agricultural Credit Societies).
Besides the above, the State of Meghalaya has many other types of Co-operative societies like Housing, Handloom, Industrial, Fisheries, Consumers, Labour Contract, Transport Poultry, Women, Joint Farming, Processing, Dairy, Piggery and other type of co-operative societies. These societies are functioning and working according to the aims and objectives provided in their by-laws and in accordance with the State Co-operative Act and Rules.
The Department of Co-operation operates as administrative department in the Secretariat and the Office of the Registrar of Co-operative Societies as head of the department to administer the co-operative societies.
Beside, the state has Apex Level Co-operative Societies namely :
- Meghalaya Co-operative Apex Bank Limited – its function is to provide credit to the farmers who are the member of Co-operative societies in short term, medium term and long term period etc. learn more ......
- Meghalaya Co-operative Federation and Marketing Societies Limited – its function are to market the agricultural products of its affiliated societies, to distribute Fertilisers and other inputs to the farmers and also for distribution of consumer goods and other essential commodities to the urban and rural areas. learn more ......
- Meghalaya State Housing and Financial Co-operative Society Limited - At the base level together with the Primary Housing Co-operative Societies has been organised and registered with an object to provide Housing Loan and House Construction facilities to the weaker section of the people in urban as well as rural areas. learn more ......
- The Meghalaya Apex Handloom Weavers Co-operative and the Handicraft Federation Limited is the Apex Level Society. This society is supplying quality of yarn to the primary handloom and markets the finished products. Handloom occupies a very important role in the small-scale industries and village cottage industries in the State. learn more ......
- The Meghalaya State Co-operative Union was established in the year 1978. The union has to conduct a number of training courses to make people fit to participate in the affairs of Co-operative societies for their own benefit. Besides the above, the union is to conduct short training courses either in the District as well as in the sub-divisional level at least 15 days in a month throughout the State.
- Meghalaya Supervision and Cadre : In the past through the Meghalaya Supervision and Cadre Management of Co-operative Society Limited assistance for secretaries (179), training and education programme for the Co-operative societies was being implemented in the State through this Apex Level Society. On national level recommendation this has been done away with and the control and direction of the secretaries have been left to the societies who are their pay masters. Some financial assistance is being provided to the societies in this respect.
There are 1511 Co-operative Societies as on 31st March 2016 registered in the state.
- List of Cooperative Societies Type Wise and District Wise as on 31st March 2016
- List of Cooperative Societies Type Wise and District Wise as on 31st March 2015
- List of Cooperative Societies Type Wise and District Wise as on 31st March 2014
- List of Cooperative Societies Type Wise and District Wise as on 31st March 2013
- List of Cooperative Societies Type Wise and District Wise as on 31st March 2012
- List of Cooperative Societies Type Wise and District Wise as on 31st March 2011
- List of Cooperative Societies Type Wise and District Wise as on 31st March 2010