Call for Productivity in Cooperatives
Domestic Economy

Call for Productivity in Cooperatives

Iran does not need more cooperatives as it has enough, said the minister of cooperatives, labor, and social welfare; calling on officials to try to “maximize productivity in the existing ones.”
Iran ranks fourth after the US, India, and Japan in the number of cooperatives.
Ali Rabiee said his ministry is planning to improve the quality of the existing cooperatives. “There is no a plan to increase the number of the non-profit organizations,” he added.
Meanwhile, he said the government strongly supports the cooperatives and tries to facilitate their workflow, but that it is not going to interfere in their activities. 
Referring to a UN’s 1994 estimate, he noted that cooperatives across the world have so far secured the lives of three billion people. 
With 800 million members, the cooperatives have played a key role in cutting poverty and unemployment rates and encouraging “fair and just” development, he said. 
The minister rejected claims that free market policies prevent the development of cooperatives, saying the Fifth Five-Year Economic Development Plan (March 2011-March 2016) had sought to increase the cooperatives’ share in the economy to 25% from its current rate of 5%.
Iran’s cooperatives have a total of 39.96 million members, while the figure for the US, India, and Japan is at 256 million, 93.7 million, and 77 million, respectively. 
Article 44 of the Constitution stipulates that the national economy falls into three sectors of public, cooperative and private. It explicitly shows the importance of the cooperative sector when it reads that the operation of the public sector should be limited to a certain extent and that the private sector is complementary to the two other public and cooperative sectors. 

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