Big bargains await co-op society members

It's not an off-season offer or a marketing gimmick to pull up sales. A tractor will cost Rs 6,000 less,over and above the usual discount being offered by dealers.

Written by Gautam Dheer | Chandigarh | Published: February 7, 2009 3:27:36 am

Over 50 lakh members to get huge discounts for tractors,electronics,CFL bulbs

It’s not an off-season offer or a marketing gimmick to pull up sales. A tractor will cost Rs 6,000 less,over and above the usual discount being offered by dealers. All electronic goods will come at a standard 25 per cent discount. CFL bulbs will cost up to 30 per cent less.

That’s the bargain deal the government has stuck with manufacturers for members of hundreds of its cooperative societies in Punjab. Over 50 lakh members stand to benefit from the arrangement.

The state government has tied up with at least four major manufacturing brands,including Escorts,Philips and Dixon Technologies,for supply of a wide range of products,including tractors,electrical and electronic goods. The government is also in talks with other companies for similar deals,especially for everyday consumer non-durables.

Punjab Cooperation Minister Capt Kanwaljit Singh said the sheer number of Punjab’s cooperative society members was enough to compel manufacturers to offer these discounts. The uniqueness of the arrangement is that while the cooperative department will act as a facilitator,all such transactions will be direct deals between members and dealers,said Capt Singh.

Principal Secretary,Cooperation,Dr B.C. Gupta,talking to The Indian Express,said the modalities are being worked out and the actual process of transactions will begin shortly. Estimates with the department suggest that nearly 67 per cent of the market transactions in Punjab are in rural areas,a senior official said. Capt Kanwaljit Singh said every initiative that helps the farmer or the rural communities save money,eventually results in bringing down indebtedness.

G. Vajralingam,Registrar,Cooperative Societies,Punjab,told ENS that the initiative is a win-win situation for both the members and the manufacturers.

In fact,the cooperative department has another novel initiative to its credit. B.C. Gupta said high-priced agriculture farm equipment is rented out to farmers,who may not have the resources to purchase such equipment. He said,“There are over 100 villages in Punjab where 90 per cent of farming takes place under this arrangement. Societies purchase such implements,including tractors,which are given to farmers on a fixed rental.” He said the farmer does not have to bother for maintenance or installments since the ownership rests with the cooperative society. “Latest equipment like the zero-till machine,which costs over Rs 65,000,is also available on rent. This brings down incidents of loans from private money lenders,” said Gupta.

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