Government of West Bengal
 
 
 
West Bengal Tribal Development Co-operative Corporation Ltd.
 
History of LAMPS
The tribal people of India could not reap the benefit of independence even after the end of the third Five-year Plan and continued to be poor, downtrodden and illiterate with very little opportunities for improvement and joining the mainstream. In spite of  having rich cultural heritage, they could not attain economic independence. During this time, Govt. of India initiated 6 pilot projects each at the cost of Rs. 1.5 crores and  Rs. 0.5 crore for development of roads and other infrastructure in 4 States viz. Andhra Pradesh, Bihar,  Orissa and Madhya Pradesh with considerable density of tribal population.
On 03-12-1971 a committee headed by the Joint Secretary, Co-op. Deptt. Sri K.S Bawa with four other members was constituted by the Agriculture Deptt. of G.O.I. to prepare report on the progress of those pilot project areas, especially in organizing co-operative movement. The mandate of the committee also included whether a special type of organization can be formed which would enable the poor tribal people to arrange for financial assistance for taking up business and provide marketing opportunities for their various products. The Committee submitted its proposals before the Agriculture Ministry on  24-01-1973.
 
 
District-wise spread of LAMPS
Sl. No. Name of the districts No. of LAMPS
1
Purba Medinipur
1
2
Paschim Medinipur
21
3
Bankura
19
4
Birbhum
12
5
Purulia
23
6
Bardhaman
8
7
Hooghly
3
8
24 Parganas (North)
3
9
24 Parganas (South)
6
10
Murshidabad
3
11
Maldah
10
12
Uttar Dinajpur
3
13
Dakshin Dinajpur
16
14
Jalpaiguri
18
15
Darjeeling
5
 

TOTAL

151
 
The basic feature of the Bawa Committee's approach to co-operative development for tribals in the project areas are :
 
» A tribal requires a package of services, the main components of which are credit – production as well as consumption credit, supply of seeds and other agricultural inputs, supply of consumer goods, and marketing of both agricultural and minor forest produce. These activities constitute the major areas of exploitation of tribals. The co-operative structure should therefore provide integrated credit and other services to the tribals.
   
» A tribal should not be required to approach too many institutions for assistance. The primary society which deals with individual tribals should, therefore, provide all the important services required by him namely, provision of short and medium term production credit, and consumption credit to be recovered from sale of minor forest produce, distribution of inputs and consumer goods, marketing of minor forest and agricultural produce. These services should be organized at `hat’ level as the tribal comes to the `hat’ periodically.
   
» Suitable higher level organizations should be pressed into service to support, supervise and guide the activities of societies at the primary level.
   
» Within the framework of the integrated approach mentioned above, the committee has examined how far the existing co-operative structure in these areas could be pressed into service. The committee has suggested setting up of new organizations only when the committee considered that the existing structure cannot be depended upon to cope with the demands of the emerging situation.
   
» The co-operative banking institutions, the Reserve Bank of India, the National Co-operative Development Corporation etc. should make available adequate funds for supporting the economic programmes for tribals in these project areas. They may also consider modifying their existing norms and procedures so as to ensure smooth flow of funds for the various programmes in these tribal areas. Assistance from the funds of T.D.A. should be made available to the co-operatives to the extent necessary to enable them to have access to various institutional sources of finance.
   
» Minor forest produce is a major source of income to the tribals, and this also constitutes a major area of exploitation of tribals by middlemen. It is, therefore, important that co-operatives of Adivasis should have the exclusive right of collection of minor forest produce and the Adivasis should be assured, through their co-operatives, a reasonable price for the minor forest produce collected by them.
   
» The economic activities, both at the level of individual tribal as well as his co-operative, will have a long gestation period before it could satisfy the viability criteria normally demanded by the financial institutions. A built-in system of subsidy- either by the State Government or from the project funds or both- is necessary to make these activities viable propositions.
   
» It is important to ensure that the benefits flowing from the various schemes undertaken with assistance from T.D.A., and Government really flow to the deserving tribals and are not intercepted by others in the project areas. For this purpose : firstly, the bye-laws of the primary societies should provide that at least 60-70% of the loans given by them should be in favour of the tribals. Secondly, the non-tribals should, as a general rule, not be eligible to be elected to the Boards of Management of these societies in the project areas where tribal population is preponderant. The non-tribal should, however, be allowed to become members of these societies for the purpose of production credit, inputs and also for marketing of agricultural produce. The Secretaries’ Committee has accepted that in areas where the tribal population exceeds 70% of the total only tribals should be eligible to be elected to the Board of Management of primary societies, but in other areas the representation to the tribals on the Board of Management of primary societies should not be less than two-thirds of the strength of the Board of Management.
   
» For effective implementation of various co-operative programmes in those project areas, suitable administrative arrangements should be evolved for the administration of societies as also for better supervision over, and guidance to, the societies.
 
Depending on the recommendations of the Bawa Committee that the level of exploitation could be brought down if the tribal people themselves could form a joint co-operative structure. Accordingly, formation of  LARGE SIZED MULTIPURPOSE CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETIES  (LAMPS)  was conceived as primary co-operative society in the lowest or Block level with an apex co-operative body in the State level which would guide the LAMPS in their day-to-day activities as well as business propositions.
 
WBTDCC Ltd. as Appex Body of LAMPS :
In 1975, the Tribal Sub-Plan was initiated in the State of West Bengal in which action was taken to form LAMPS with the fund allocated through the 5th Five-year Plan and under the aegis of the Backward Classes Welfare Department, Govt. of West Bengal, the West Bengal Tribal Development Co-operative Corporation Ltd.(WBTDCC Ltd.), as the Apex Body of LAMPS, was formed and registered on 26-03-1976. However, the W.B.T.D.C.C.Ltd. started proper functioning from 1978. Prior to the functioning of WBTDCC Ltd. the LAMPS were registered and supervised by the Assistant Registrar of Co-operative Societies of concerned ranges.
 
The Director, Backward Classes Welfare was appointed ex-officio Additional Registrar of Co-operative Societies, West Bengal by a Notification issued by the Govt. of West Bengal in the Co-operation Department for the purpose of exercising statutory control over the LAMPS for their proper functioning as well as exercising all powers under the W.B.C.S. Act, 1983, except the powers mentioned in Schedule – I of  the said Act and the power of statutory audit. Since the issue of this Notification the registration of LAMPS was done by the Director, B.C.W.
 
Subsequently, the Managing Director of W.B.T.D.C.C. Ltd. was appointed ex-officio Additional Registrar of Co-operative Societies under Notification No. 3353-Co-op./E/2P-1/88 dated 04.08.2004 for the purpose of exercising statutory control over the LAMPS for their proper functioning as well as to assist the Registrar of Co-operative Societies, West Bengal, so far as it is related to the LAMPS. In the said Notification, the Managing Director, W.B.T.D.C.C. Ltd. was empowered to exercise all the powers  under the WBCS Act, 1983 except the powers mentioned in Schedule–I of  the said  Act and the power of statutory  audit in the capacity of ex-officio Additional  Registrar Co-operatives Societies.
 
With the issue of this Notification the Managing Director, W.B.T.D.C.C. Ltd. started to accord registration of LAMPS as well as exercise all the powers under the WBCS Act, 1983 except the powers mentioned in Schedule–I of  the said  Act and the power of statutory audit in the capacity of ex-officio Additional  Registrar Co-operatives Societies.
 
To start with, LAMPS were organized in the areas of several small grain-golas. Thereafter, formation of LAMPS in the I.T.D.P. Mouzas was started.
 
As per the existing norms, the district level officer entrusted with the implementation of Tribal Sub-Plan, i.e., the Project Officer-cum-District Welfare Officer (P.O.-cum-D.W.O.) acts as the coordinator of the LAMPS in his operational area. The W.B.T.D.C.C. Ltd. after giving registration arranges for granting of Share Capital and margin money to the LAMPS and also operational capital in the form of loan from the State Govt. for upliftment of the socio-economic condition of the tribal people. LAMPS are to provide for their members, the tribal people of the area, the credit required for their agricultural operations, collection of minor forest produce, arrange for marketing of minor forest produce collected by their tribal members and other surplus commodities produced by them at fair prices, for consumption purpose, for implementation of Family Benefit Schemes and also for supply of essential consumer goods required by them.
 
 
 
 
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