JEDDAH: Dr. Abdullah Kidman, chairman of Cooperative Societies Council, told Al-Eqtisadiah that the adoption of a strategic plan and restructuring of the council will soon occur in order to establish 2,000 new cooperative societies within five years, which are expected to provide over 200,000 jobs.
He said: “Implementing the strategic plan will require the state’s support with over SR900 million ($239.9 million). The council is seeking to implement its programs in cooperation with the ministries of labor and social development, and environment, water and agriculture through the suggested initiatives aiming to develop the profits and services of the cooperative sector.”
Kidman pointed out that an advisory committee was formed out of the council’s members to conduct a study on the Kingdom’s cooperative sector, the reality, challenges and opportunities, and will present an overview of the best international practices in the cooperative field, and then draft an initiative on “developing the cooperative sector and its role in achieving Vision 2030.”
He noted that within two months, some recommendations will be presented to the council’s general assembly to be later adopted and implemented.
“There are some challenges facing cooperative work, which are mainly the relevant ministries’ weak mechanism of applying laws, the lack of cooperation and response, the slow process of registration, in addition to confusing the work with charity work. However, these challenges are being worked on to be finalized in 30 days,” he added.
The chairman reported that the council formed eight committees to promote cooperative work, help stalled cooperative societies and establish new societies.
Kidman reported that the council has been granted SR230 million in support from the state, and will lend to and help societies, hoping to become the main cooperative work repertory in achieving a sustainable development in the Kingdom.
He indicated that the council’s main objectives are coordination among cooperative societies to avoid any duplication or incompatibility in the provided services; the encouragement of communication; visits and exchange of experience among the societies; and the conduction of a study on troubled and stalled societies in order to improve their conditions.
“We are working on addressing difficulties and eliminating obstacles that may threaten cooperative societies and their goals; defining the geographic scope of the societies with similar objectives and activities; organizing annual meetings for the societies to exchange ideas and experiences to develop their work in coordination with the ministry; and promoting and supporting the organization of qualifying and training programs for society employees,” he stated.
He said that they are conducting research and studies to develop and upgrade the societies’ activities; coordinating the societies’ efforts and services in case of emergencies or disasters in coordination with the relevant authorities; finding stable financing resources for the societies; and encouraging the private sector to support and interact with cooperative work.
He noted that the state, represented by the Ministry of Labor and Social Development, allocated a budget he considered a main factor in the development and an economic renaissance.
This economic sector will help treat the problem of unemployment, he added.
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