The main task of the department is to facilitate the formation and working of the cooperative societies in the state for the purpose of promoting self help and mutual aid among societies in the state for the persons with common economic needs so as to bring about a higher standard of living, better business, better method of production and equitable distribution.
The department is responsible for registration, submission, assistance, counseling and control of registered cooperative societies and for development of cooperative movement and control over cooperative education. Apart from performing the statutory functions, the department is responsible for implementing the various plan schemes implemented through cooperative societies in various sectors of the economy covering agriculture, farming, fisheries, dairy industries, processing, marketing, housing etc.
The cooperation department is responsible for administering the following acts and rules:
- Assam Cooperative societies act 1949
- Assam Cooperative Societies Rule 1953
- Assam Money Lenders Act
- Assam Cooperative land Mortgage Bank Act 1960
- Assam Cooperative Land Mortgage Bank rules
Besides the above acts, the co-operation department exercises control over the Assam State Warehousing corporation ltd.
The Board/ Managing committees are to manage the affairs of the respective cooperative societies to achieve the various objectives as enshrined in the representative bye laws.
The office of the Registrar of CO-operative Societies Assam is the Directorate under the administrative control of the co-operation dept. The Directorate is headed by a senior I.A.S officer, who is assisted by two additional Registrars of Cooperative Societies, two joint Registrars of Co-operative Societies, three Deputy Registrars of co-operative societies, one statistical officer, one F.A.O, a number of Assistant Registers and Sub Registers of Co-operative societies, Senior/ Junior inspectors of co-operative societies supported by ministerial staff. The state Govt. have empowered the Registrar of Co-operative Societies, As-IS Study Report of Co-operation Department Page 6 Assam for (1) Registration (2) Supervision(3) Assistance (4) Counsel (5) Control of Registered Societies (6) For the development of Co-operative Movement (7) Control over all Co-operative education and (8) All such powers and responsibilities which may be provided under Assam Co-operative Societies Act, 1949 or bye-laws framed there under.
For administrative convenience, the entire state has been divided into five(5) zones headed by Zonal Joint Registers of Cooperative societies in plain areas. The two autonomous hill districts have been placed under an additional register of Co-operative Societies and Assistant Registers of co-operative societies in most of the districts and sub-division.
All the co-operative societies registered under Assam Co-operative Societies Act 1949 and the Assam State Warehousing corporation are under the administrative control of the co-operative department. During the current year, there were 10134 cooperative societies of various types in the state. These included primary agricultural co-operative societies(GPSS and LAMPS) banks, thrift and credit co-operatives, dairy cooperatives, farming cooperatives, fishermen cooperatives, pisciculture cooperatives, Consumer cooperatives, transport cooperatives, cooperative Sugar mills and spinning mills, jute mills, housing cooperatives, marketing cooperatives besides many other types of co-operatives.
While geographically the cooperative covers almost every village in Assam, functionally they cover almost all economic activities. The cooperatives in the state have attained a noticeable and impressive growth over the past couple of decades in terms of numbers of societies, membership, working capital, volume and business.