Nov 25, 2016

UN’s only tripartite agency steps into modernise Sri Lanka Coop network

Sri Lanka is set to welcome its first ever National Cooperative Policy framework soon-and this national effort is backed by none other than UN’s only tripartite agency, the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

This was stated by Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen when he addressed the consultation session by the Cooperatives Sector of his Ministry held at Sri Lanka Foundation Institute (SLFI) on Thursday.

These proposals will be submitted to the approval of the Cabinet and then to the Parliament. Previous Coop Ministers tried to amend the Act but could not, but after it was gazetted under me and I took over, ILO came forward to support us to bring our Coop sector to international standards. Today we are seeing the results.”he said.

Sri Lanka’s cooperatives movement that started 112 years ago in the remote village Menikhinna in Kandy District has become a significant economic sub-sector today, taking a role in the day to day lives of rural consumers of the country. There are almost 14500 cooperatives-in various productions services, SMEs, women’s development, rural banking, insurance and farming sectors-active in Sri Lanka. Through “Coop City” shops, cooperatives are also now present in the country’s FMCG retail sector.

ILO, the only tripartite U.N. agency, brings together governments, employers and workers from 187 member States to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes, promoting “decent work” for all.