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International Journal of Social Economics

Emerald Article: Appraisal of a rural co-operative with the thrust on rural development: an empirical study Amit K. Chakrabarty, Krishnamay Ghosh

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To cite this document: Amit K. Chakrabarty, Krishnamay Ghosh, (2009),"Appraisal of a rural co-operative with the thrust on rural development: an empirical study", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 36 Iss: 1 pp. 199 - 211 Permanent link to this document: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/03068290910921262 Downloaded on: 20-09-2012 References: This document contains references to 19 other documents To copy this document: permissions@emeraldinsight.com This document has been downloaded 598 times since 2009. *

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Appraisal of a rural co-operative with the thrust on rural development: an empirical study
Amit K. Chakrabarty
Department of Commerce, Katwa Bharati Bhaban, Katwa, India, and

Appraisal of a rural co-operative 199

Krishnamay Ghosh
Department of Commerce, Chandannagar Bango Vidyalay, Chandannagar, India
Abstract
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to study the progress of rural development through the performance of a rural co-operative. Design/methodology/approach Random sample of 100 members of the co-operative have been selected. The opinion of sample members has been collected personally through questionnaire and also direct interview. Secondary data were collected from the published annual reports of the co-operative. The data, both primary and secondary have been tabulated in a suitable sheet prepared for the purpose. Analyzing and interpreting the collected data, conclusion has been drawn. Findings The study reveals that the rural co-operative has been able to improve the living standard of the rural people of the studied area, thus the rural co-operative accelerated the process of rural development in remote India. Research limitations/implications The study, is totally based on the sample opinion and published data of the co-operative. The period of study is very short. So, the outcome of the study may not be generalized. Practical implications A smooth and active system of loan-issuance and loan-recovery of a rural co-operative may uplift the living standard of the rural populace. Originality/value This research could assist in the management of a co-operative since management-efciency regarding the recovery of loan has been proved in this paper. Keywords India, Rural regions, Loans, Co-operative organizations Paper type Research paper

Introduction Co-operative at the base level has a key role to play in the rural economy in the sense that they give subsidized agro-inputs as well as credit to the cultivators. For strengthening rural development, co-operatives have played a vital role. A rural co-operative society can, precisely, be dened as a group of producers who are basically farmers and agro workers who have organized themselves to help each other for their own benet. A rural co-operative society comes into existence with the aim of improving the welfare of the rural community as a whole. A well-knit and efciently organized co-operative society certainly promotes the economic standards of the rural masses, the producers and the rural communities as well. Rural agricultural societies, and, therefore, co-operative have to play a very signicant role in the process of rural development by relieving the rural masses from the unlawful and ever exploiting individuals or money lenders in the implementation of the rationalized practices,

International Journal of Social Economics Vol. 36 Nos 1/2, 2009 pp. 199-211 q Emerald Group Publishing Limited 0306-8293 DOI 10.1108/03068290910921262

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ensuring remunerative prices for their agricultural product and supply of agro-inputs at fair prices at right time. It is a fact that small and marginal farmers and agricultural labourers occupy a predominant place in Indian economy. Lack of integration of credit with farm services and supplies compels farmers to approach various agencies. Therefore, massive efforts are needed in the form of nance to convert the small and marginal farmers and other sections of the rural population into the economically viable and productive units. In this sphere, of the various institutional agencies, the co-operatives have played a very pivotal role since the introduction of the co-operative movement in India in 1904. Even though the commercial banks have entered into small nance, still co-operatives predominate in nancing the rural folk. Hence, it becomes of paramount importance to study the performance of co-operatives. The present study deals with the nature and growth of rural development through rural co-operatives and its limitation as well as close relation between nance of a co-operative society and rural development in the district of Burdwan. This has critically been analyzed on the basis of empirical evidence drawn from Asanpur Samabaya Krishi Unnayan Samity (SKUS) of the district of Burdwan in West Bengal. Review of literature The co-operative is the interesting eld of empirical research to the researchers of any branch of social science. Early works of different academics have been highlighted basically on the performances, problems and prospect of Indian co-operatives. According to Valsamma (2005), there is no other agency as effective and suitable other than a strong and viable co-operative system to alleviate the sufferings of the people under the trap of moneylenders. Studying, the performances of Primary Agricultural Co-operative Bank, Thanarathnam (2006) came to the conclusion that although the bank is quite successful in its operating eld, it should remove some operational difculties like over dues, diversions of loan for other purposes, etc. In his article, Narsaiah (2006) found out that the problem of over dues affects adversely the protability of co-operative banks as they cannot book prot on NPA and they are compelled to make provisions for bad debt. Research work on Womens Industrial Co-operative Societies (WICS) in Kerala of Vasanthakumari (2006) identied the most important problem faced by the societies is that of marketing. The other problems in order of their severity are nance, raw materials, labour, technical, managerial and power. All these measures can go a long way towards the betterment of the WICS. A Study, on Recovery Performance of a Regional Rural Bank conducted by Chakrabarty (2006) established that the bank suffers severely from the problem of over dues due to inefciency of management practices. Ambhore (2007) argues that weak credit system is the key problem in the development of Primary Agricultural Co-operative Credit societies (PACCS) of the state Maharastra. Soju (2007) advises in his paper that reduction of operating cost may increase the efciency of urban co-operating banks in Kerala. The study also reveals that size of banks in no way inuences its efciency. The empirical study of Patil and Fagare (2007) proves that the co-operative sugar factories in Maharastra are the development agent in the rural area and also the booster centers of other small co-operatives such as lift-irrigation, transport, dairy and poultry, agricultural, and non-agricultural societies.

In the present study the authors propose to appraise the performance of SKUS with thrust on rural development. Statement of the problem The statement of the problem of this research work is To study the progress of rural development through SKUS of the district of Burdwan in West Bengal, India. Objective of the study The objective of the study is to search for how selected co-operative has been successful in achieving its desired goals, i.e. to alleviate poverty among its members by providing necessary nance, developing co-operative attitude among the members. The fall out of which is to protect themselves from rural kulaks or moneylenders. In order to do that following studies have been taken: . Class composition of membership. . Classication of members on the basis of literacy. . Caste composition of the members. . Classication of members on the basis of income and changing their income in different years. . Class wise proper utilization of loan. . Class wise break-up of repayment of loan. Methodology Selection of sample Out of 484 members (2004-2005) of the SKUS, 100 members have been taken at random as the sample for the present study. Out of sample members, 36 are marginal farmers, 30 are small farmers, ve are other farmers, ten are land less agricultural labours, 15 are SC members and six are women members. Tools used A close ended, structured questionnaire has been prepared to collect the opinion of members of the co-operative. A number of items have been included in the questionnaire to know the socio-economic condition of the members and to know whether they have been able to utilize the loan properly or not. The questionnaire has been prepared emphasizing the aspects like categorical status of the members, sources of income of the members and also their monthly income in terms of money, caste composition of the members, educational status of the members, purpose of loan taken, (Viz. Business, Agriculture, Cottage Industry, etc.) proper utilization of loan, loan used for other purposes, recovery of loan, etc. Collection of data The investigators have collected primary data visiting door to door of all the sample members of the Samity. Secondary, data has been collected from annual reports of the society for the period 2001-2002 to 2004-2005.

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Tabulation of data The collected data, both primary and secondary, have been compiled on suitable tabulation sheets prepared for the purpose. Limitation of the study The present study is based on published data of the studied co-operative and also sample opinion of the members. The studied period (2001-2002 to 2004-2005) is too short that the inference of the study may vary in long-term. If sampling technique is changed, results of the study may also be changed. The conclusion of the study may not be generalized. Short prole of Asanpur Samabaya Krishi Unnayan Samity The Asanpur SKUS is a developed primary agricultural credit society located under the administrative jurisdiction of Monteswar Block in the district of Burdwan. It has achieved multifarious socio-economic progress during the last four years (2001-2002 to 2004-2005). It has an operational range of four villages with an area of about 20 sq. km. Total population of this area is 8000 of over 1500 families. The present member of the Samity is 484. Anaylsis and ndings A recurrent increase in membership of rural co-operative has been taken place because of successful implementation of universal Membership Policy. Table I shows that out of 426 members in 2001-02, 159 marginal farmers have taken the membership of the concerned co-operative. This has increased to 171 in 2002-2003 and further to 172 in 2003-2004 and again to 174 in 2004-2005. The same tendency of increase or degree of upward mobility in membership has been found in case of other peasants like middle, rich and small peasants and SC members as well. However, in case of land less agricultural labourers the gure remains stagnant at 50 in each of the four years between 2001-2002 and 2004-2005. Table II has been prepared on the basis of literacy position of the concerned Samabaya Samity members on the basis of three criteria Viz: (1) Educated. (2) Literate. (3) Illiterate. By educated members we have meant those who have completed school education or college education or have got a higher degree. By literate members we have meant those who are able to read and write their names while illiterate members are those who cannot read and write. The statistics indicate that the number of educated members increased from 309 in 2001-2002 to 351 in 2004-2005, i.e. an increase of 14 percent. The numbers of literate members increased from 68 in 2001-2002 to 73 in 2002-2003, it then declined to 47 in 2003-2004 and it again increased to 51 in the subsequent year. The total number of illiterate members, which was only 49 in 2001-02 became 71 in 2002-2003 which, again, moved forward to 77 in 2003-2004. However, in 2004-2005 it increased to 82. Thus, there was an increase of illiterate members by 67 percent in 2004-2005 over 2001-02.

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2001-2002 No. of member Percentage 159 124 6 50 67 20 426 29 1.40 11.74 16 4.86 100 142 8 50 69 25 465 30 2 11 14.5 5.5 100 142 9 50 73 26 472 30 2 11 15 6 100 145 12 50 73 30 484 30 2 11 15 6 100 37 171 37 172 36 174 36

2002-2003 No. of member Percentage

2003-2004 No. of member Percentage

2004-2005 No. of member Percentage

Marginal farmers having land 2.5 acres Small farmers having land between 2.5 and 5 acres Other farmers having land above ve acres Landless agricultural labourers SC members ST members Women members Total

Source: Annual reports, Asanpur SKUS

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Table I. Class composition of membership in Asanpur SKUS

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Educated Literate Illiterate Total

Source: Annual reports, Asanpur SKUS

Table II. Classication of members on the basis of literacy 2002-2003 No. of member Percentage 321 73 71 465 69 16 15 100 348 47 77 472 74 10 16 100 351 51 82 484 2003-2004 No. of member Percentage 2004-2005 No. of member Percentage 73 10 17 100 73 16 11 100

2001-2002 No. of member Percentage

309 68 49 426

According to the above statistics we nd that most of the members of the concerned Samity are educated. On the whole, the increasing rate of illiterate members that is 67 percent is higher than the corresponding gure of educated members (14 percent) where as literate members decreases (25 percent) in 2001-2002 over 2004-2005. The educated members have established their hegemony over others where as literate and illiterate members occupied a very limited place. Their share in the Samabaya Samity has become minimum, while the educated members have established their inuence in the working of the Samabaya Samity. To determine the socio-economic position the third criterion that has been adopted is on caste basis. The statistics in Table III clearly shows that of the 426 members, 28 percent belong to higher caste, 28 percent belong to middle caste, 24 percent are of lower caste and the rest 20 percent belong to Muslim community in year 2001-02. In 2002-2003, out of 465 members 31 percent belong to higher caste, 28 percent belongs to middle caste, 23 percent to lower caste and 18 percent to Muslim community. In 2003-2004 they are changed, respectively, to 33 percent, 26 percent, 23 percent and 18 percent. In the following year out of 484 members 33 percent were of higher caste, 25 percent belonged to middle caste, 23 percent to lower caste and rest 19 percent belonged to Muslim community. The increasing rates of higher caste, middle caste, lower caste and Muslims are 32 percent, 20 percent, 12 percent and 7 percent, respectively. Table III unequivocally shows that there is a lack of fundamental socio-economic transformation, the essential pre-conditions in the matter of decentralization of power and the tendency to concentrate power by certain vested interests at the state or district level debarred the SC, ST, etc. from active participation in the Samabaya Samity, as expected. In the membership structure the higher caste has out numbered the lower castes. The concerned Samity has miserably failed to increase the participation of ST members. The statistics in Table IV clearly shows that of the 426 members in 2001-02 the income of 135 members was in the range of Rs. 1000 to Rs. 2000. In 2002-2003 seven more members came into this category. So the number of members should be 142 but the Table shows that the number still stands as 137. Therefore, the income of the ve members was increased from the range of Rs.1000 to Rs2000 to the range of Rs.2001 to Rs.4000 (arrow No. I). So during the period the increasing rate was 3.7 percent. So we can say that the nancial condition of those ve members has been improved and they have utilized the loan properly. Similarly, the seven and nine members whose income increased in the range of Rs.1000 to Rs.2000 to the range of Rs.2001 to Rs.4000 from 2002-2003 to 2003-2004, and 2003-2004 to 2004-2005 (arrow No. II and III). So the increasing rate is 5.1 percent and 6.7 percent, respectively. In the Samabaya, the three, ve and seven members whose income was between Rs 2001 and Rs. 4000 have been changed to Rs.4001 and Rs.6000 from the year 2001-2002 to 2002-2003, 2002-2003 to 2003-2004, and 2003-2004 to 2004-2005, respectively. So the increasing rates are 8.6 percent, 12.2 percent and 15.9 percent, respectively, (arrow No.-IV, V, and VI). There are 34 members whose income were lying in the range between Rs 4001-Rs.6000 have been increased to the range Rs. 6001-Rs.12000 during the 2001-2002 to 2004-2005. Out of 34 members the income of 7, 12, and 15 members have been increased from year 2001-2002 to 2002-2003, 2002-2003 to 2003-2004 and 2003-2004 to 2004-2005, respectively. The increasing rate 3.3 percent, 5 percent, and

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Higher caste (Bramhin, Kayastha, Kshatriya, etc.) Middle caste (Sadgop, Kamar, Weaver etc) Lower Caste (Bauri, Hari, etc.) Minorities (Muslim) Total 119 120 102 85 426 28 28 24 20 100 146 130 107 82 465 31 28 23 18 100 156 121 111 84 472 33 26 23 18 100

Source: Annual reports, Asanpur SKUS

Table III. Caste composition of the members 2001-2002 No. of member Percen-tage 157 122 114 91 484 2002-2003 No. of member Percentage 2003-2004 No. of member Percentage 2004-2005 No. of member Percentage 33 25 23 19 100

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Note: N means New Member of the Society


Source: Field Survey

Table IV. Classication of members on the basis of income and changing their income during the period 2001-2002 to 2004-2005

6.2 percent (arrow No. VII, VIII, and IX). In consideration of whole, the 70 members have already been succeeded to use the loan properly. They also have succeeded to improve their nancial condition and they get the actual benet to take the loan from the Society. Apart from this fact rest of the members of this Society have succeeded to change their socio-economic position at a considerable rate. At the time of survey we have collected the opinion of 100 members from different sections of the Society of the above co-operative (Table V). The survey reveals that the marginal farmers have been successful in using co-operative loan for the purpose of business or agriculture for which it was taken. Out of 36 members four marginal farmers have used the sanctioned amount in their business. On the other hand, 25 marginal farmers out of 32 have properly used the loan amount in the agriculture sector. But in contrast 26 small farmers could have been able to properly utilize the loan in the sector of agriculture (20) as well as business (6) out of 30. But under some practical hindrances only four members belonging to the small farmers failed to properly use the loan money. From the section of other farmers, cent percent members (i.e. 3) have succeeded to use the co-operative credit in the eld of agriculture. Consequently, agro-labourers and SC members have not successfully used the loan in the same eld. The data shows that only 20 percent agro labourers have used the loan

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Members 4 32 6 24 3 5 5 15 4 2 100 4 25 6 20 3 1 1 6 4 2 72 100 78 100 83 100 20 20 40 100 100 72 7 4 4 4 9 28 22 17 80 80 60 28

Marginal farmers

Business Agriculture Cottage industry Small farmers Business Agriculture Cottage industry Other farmers Business Agriculture Cottage industry Land less agricultural labourers Business Agriculture Cottage industry S.C. members Business Agriculture Cottage industry S.T. members Business Agriculture Cottage industry Women members Business Agriculture Cottage industry Total

Source: Field survey

Table V. Class-wise proper utilization of loan Purpose of loan taken No. of loanee No. of proper utilization Percentage Loan used for other purpose Percentage

money in the eld of business and 20 percent in the eld of agriculture, 80 percent have failed to do the same. In case of SC members out of 15 members, 40 percent have succeeded and 60 percent have failed. An encouraging success has been reected in the case of women members and they have used the loan in the eld of agriculture and cottage industries at a rate of 100 percent. In ne, we may say that in the eld of business marginal farmers, small farmers and woman members have shown symptoms of remarkable success. On the other hand, in the eld of agriculture more or less 80 percent of the members belonging marginal, small and other farmers have fullled the target of their aim for taking loan. Considering the overall picture we may say that as far as is concerned, in this eld cent percent success has been achieved by the farmers belonging to other categories and women members. The statistics in Table VI clearly shows that in the case of repayment of loan women members have succeed at the rate of 100 percent. There is a correlation between utilization and repayment of the loan, i.e. the members who have already succeeded to use the loan properly have also succeeded to repay the loan in toto. In contrast, the opposite trend has been reected for other members. This means that those who failed to use the loan properly have also failed to repay the loan in the way it should have been. So, we may say that the actual benet of the loan depends upon the proper utilization as well as proper repayment as a whole. Concluding observations As an appropriate infrastructure of development the rural co-operatives have not only changed their structure and activity but also have brought the qualitative and quantitative change in rural living. The survey reveals that under the administrative jurisdiction of Monteswar Block the said co-operative has succeeded to change the living standard of numerous of rural populace, who has enhanced material and nancial prosperity of their livelihood. As far as upliftment of rural living, monetary assistance as well as distribution of agro inputs have considerably been increased and due to this effort rural people could have been able to cultivate their land and maximize their production by using technological agro inputs and HYV seeds. As a result of this the rural people, at grass root level, have been free from the agony of incapability to maintain their family needs. They also have been free from the clutches of Mohajons and scarcity of food and lodging. Due to increase of agriculture relating jobs they have also been able to enhance their nancial
Members Marginal farmers Small farmers Other farmers Land less agricultural labourers SC members ST members Women members Total Source: Field survey Loan given 36 30 03 10 15 06 100 Loan repayment 32 24 03 05 10 06 80 Percentage of repayment 89 80 100 50 67 100 100

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Table VI. Class-wise break up of repayment of loan

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stability which has been greater than former. The evidence reveals that eighty percent of the co-operative members have changed their living conditions. At present, they have been carrying on a change in solving the fundamental demands of clothing and lodging by acquiring maximum benet of their agricultural product. To some extent fty percent to fty two percent of downtrodden people have possessed one or two granaries with full of grains surplus agro-products, titled house with two or more than two rooms, utility of electrication, etc. They are leading free and normal life out of the bounds of the trap of exploitation. Their children are being taught and their straw thatched cottages have been replaced by titled room houses. There is enough scope in same cases to deposit small amount of surplus money in respective co-operative bank. This change in the life of the rural people and success in the eld of establishment of strong foundation of rural economy not only prove the efciency and viability of rural co-operatives but also remind us, in large context, of the success of human living at grass-root level. It will not be unjust to say that the rural co-operative has played not only a bright role regarding rural development but also proved the validity and reality of the development policy executed in rural co-operatives. So we may conclude, the rural co-operatives are playing a key role in rural society for enhancing a minimum comfort in the living of the toiling masses and to accelerate the sprit of co-operation in multidimensional ways of life. The urban led co-operation and concerted action of the participants and management, devotion and dedication of the leaders to the public thinking have created a special place for co-operative institution in rural society. These institutions have to march onward and forward with greater zeal and greater possibility to serve the community and society. So we have attended a new light of achievement by serving all classes of rural society specially the poor and weak who have given their unstinting support to the rural co-operative. So rural co-operatives have emerged in rural society as a real lifeboat of the rural living.

Recommendations The present study reveals a number of weaknesses of the rural co-operative, which hinders the prosperity of the institution. Following recommendations may be suggested to the management of the co-operative to rid off these weaknesses: . Most of the members of the co-operative belong to higher caste. Management should take magic steps to increase the members by enrolling persons from different castes, creed and religions. . Management should think seriously about the interpersonal awareness and co-operation among the members. Steps should be taken to enhance the interpersonal awareness and co-operation among the members. . Since a considerable number of members of the co-operative are illiterate, management must search the cause behind it and should try to increase the participation of literate member in the co-operative. . Effort should be taken to improve the communication system in the villages. . A wholehearted effort must be arranged to make the villagers aware of the co-operative spirit.

References Ambhore, S. (2007), Primary agriculture co-operative credit society: micro study, Southern Economist, Vol. 47 No. 21, p. 14. Chakrabarty, A.K. (2006), A study on recovery performance of a regional rural bank, Research Bulletin, ICWAI, Vol. XXVIII, p. 112. Narsaiah, R. (2006), Factor affecting the size of overdues in co-operative bank: a case study, Southern Economist, Vol. 45 No. 5, p. 31. Patil, V.S. and Fagare, G.J. (2007), Role of sugar co-operative in the rural development, Southern Economist, Vol. 46 No. 8, p. 27. Soju, S. (2007), Relative efciency of urban co-operative banks in Kerala, Southern Economist, Vol. 46 No. 10, p. 19. Valsamma, A. (2005), Co-operative bank in the grip of MTAS, Southern Economist, Vol. 43 No. 20, p. 21. Thanarathnam, J.J. (2006), Working of primary agriculture co-operative bank: a case study, Southern Economist, Vol. 45 No. 19, p. 29. Vasanthakumari, P. (2006), Problem and prospect of women industrial co-operative societies in Kerala, Southern Economist, Vol. 45 No. 11, p. 13. Further reading Angrish (1977), Growth rates of loans, recovery, outstanding of gujarat state land development bank, Indian Co-operative Revolution, Vol. 14 No. 3, p. 259. Desai, S.S.M (1983), Rural Banking in India, Himalaya Publishing House, Bombay, p. 220. Goyal, S.K. and Pandey, R.N. (1991), An analysis of default of crop loan in primary agricultural co-operative credit and service societies in Haryana, Agricultural Banker, Vol. 14 No. 1, p. 34. Indira Sena Reddy, P. (1984), Co-operative banks for agriculture and rural development a case study, Agricultural Banker, Vol. 18 No. 3, p. 34. Jha, D.R. (1993), Trends and Perspective of Agricultural Credit (S.T. and M.T.) in West Bengal, Calcutta, p. 60. Kandasami, K.P. (1992), Co-operative loan recovery in Periyar district of Tamil Nadu, Indian Co-operative Review, Vol. 30 No. 1, p. 45. Modi, M.K. and Rai, K. (1991), Estimation of credit among farmers of district Kurukshetra, Haryana, Agricultural Banker, Vol. 14 No. 3, p. 63. Pandy, U.K. and Suhag, K.S. (1983), Growth in co-operative credit and prediction of loans and levels of default in Haryana, Indian Co-operative Revolution, Vol. XXI No. 1, p. 45. Reddy, C.R. (1985), Farm credit: structure and performance, Eastern Economist, Vol. 65 No. 8, p. 358. Singh, A.K. and Balishter (1991), Factors affecting over dues of loans-a case study, Agricultural Banker, Vol. 14 No. 4, p. 37. Thakur, D.S. (1973), Small farmers and co-operatives/co-operative over dues view, Indian Co-operative Revolution, Vol. 10 No. 3, p. 371. Corresponding author Amit K. Chakrabarty can be contacted at: amitkbb@yahoo.co.in To purchase reprints of this article please e-mail: reprints@emeraldinsight.com Or visit our web site for further details: www.emeraldinsight.com/reprints

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