Cooperatives are defined as “an autonomous Association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise”. Conceptually, Cooperative Institutions come into existence not because there was capital to invest, but because people have certain common needs as producers, as consumers, as workers, as dwellers, as savers, as borrowers, which they feel they can them selves fulfill through joint efforts.
Cooperative Principles are the guiding force for every cooperative while transacting business in the name of Cooperative. Cooperative principles lay down the broader parameters which such Institutions have to adhere-to while transacting or undertaking any business activity. In 1995 under the auspices of Internal Cooperative Alliance, (ICA) the Cooperative Principles have been reformulated and are commonly known as Manchester Declaration. After a threadbare discussion on the working of Cooperative Movement particularly in the wake of economic liberalization initiated from early nineties, the (ICA) has ratified/approved seven reformulated principles in its session held on 20-23 Sept 1995 at Manchester England.