Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Zealous advocate of co-operative movement

ABOHAR: Born on April 5, 1953, in a prominent family of Congressmen, Surinder Jakhar remained apolitical throughout his life, though he started his career as a sarpanch of Panchkosi village in 1980. 

Jakhar, who chose not to follow in the footsteps of his father, Balram Jakhar, former Lok Sabha Speaker, and younger brother Sunil, who is an MLA from Abohar, was a graduate from DAV College, Punjab University, Abohar. He was actively involved in cooperatives for about three decades. During his long and illustrious career, he made significant contribution towards accelerating agricultural and rural development. 

A widely travelled person, he carried with him rich and varied experience in the field of agriculture and cooperatives. His zeal in solving and improving the financial position of rural people, particularly the farmers, and augmenting their income through cooperatives was the inspiration behind his joining the cooperative movement. 

Jakhar's dream comprised networking cooperatives all over the world to meet the various requirements of people at large for their economic betterment. In 1987, he was elected as the MD of Fazilka Cooperative Society and presently was enjoying his fifth term. 

He first became director of IFFCO in 1988 and then became the youngest chairman in 1997. He was serving his fourth term as chairman IFFCO. He was the founder chairman of IFFCO Tokyo general insurance company and also served as director Kribhco and Markfed. He was awarded best co-operator of the year in 2001 in a state-level function. He also became the director of International Co-operative Association (ICA) twice. 

Under Jakhar's leadership, IFFCO set new record of selling 112 lakh MT of fertilizers in 2008-09 and achieved an all-time record turnover of Rs 32,933 crore in 2008-09. IFFCO had earned a net profit of Rs 360 crore in 2008-09. 

During his tenure, IFFCO successfully forayed into the rural telecom sector by forming IFFCO Kisan Sanchar Limited, IFFCO Chattisgarh Power Limited in Power sector and became the first company in India to make a SEZ for farmers as IFFCO Kisan SEZ.

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