The Cooperation as an economic movement was started in Europe in the second half of the Nineteenth Century. In the Sub-Continent, the Cooperative movement was introduced by the British Govt. by promulgating the “Cooperative Credit Societies Act, 1904" to rescue the agriculturists from the clutches of the moneylenders. Under this Act only Credit Societies could be formed while there was no provision to register Co-operative Societies formed for other self-help projects. Resultantly, the progress of the movement remained almost stagnant and limited to only Agricultural Sector. For widening the scope and broadening the economic horizon, another Act called Cooperative Societies Act, 1912, was promulgated which gave tremendous impetus to the growth of the Cooperative movement. The Government of India Act 1919, which ushered in diarchic system of Government in the country at provincial level, made Cooperative a transferred subject. Some provinces exercised the option of having their own Cooperative legislation. The Province of Bombay passed its separate Act namely the Bombay “Cooperative Societies Act of 1925”, which continued to remain enforced in the province under the Provincial Autonomy. After the creation of the province of West Pakistan, the Sind Cooperative Societies Act was adopted throughout the province in 1965. The Sind Act contained many improvements over the 1912 Act.
The Cooperative Societies Act, 1925 has been marginally amended in the past. However, a number of situations and circumstances remained unaddressed in the said Act like Cooperative Housing Sector. The main component of the Cooperative movement had also not been adequately covered under the Act. Therefore, the Government of the Punjab amended the Act in 2006 in order to bring it in line with the changed scenarios to meet the new challenges.
Cooperatives is a world in itself having unity in diversity i.e. Agricultural, Banking, Housing, Industrial and Women Sectors, working on the cooperative principles and contributing in the progress and development of the Province in particular and country in general. The role of Cooperative Housing Societies to provide residential facilities with fully developed infrastructure to its members without seeking any financial support from the Government is commendable contribution of the Cooperatives Department.