Way back in 1907, Co-Operative movement made its presence felt in the district of Balasore with the launching of its first ever co-operative society when the province of Orissa was still a part of Bengal. Here is an extract from the First Annual Report of the Balasore Co-operative Bank Ltd (rechristened as BALASORE BHADRAK CENTRAL CO-OPERATIVE BANK LTD, BALASORE) for the year 1916-17:

The first Co-operative Society in the district was started in the year 1907 in the sudder sub-division long before the co-operative movement was established in the province, then a part of the province of Bengal. From 1907-1912, there was mother society and in 1912, a society was started in the Khasmahals of Bhadrak sub-division. Towards the middle of the year 1914, an informal conference of local gentlemen was held under the presidency of Raj Bahadur Monomohan Roy (then Babu M.M. Roy), then collector of the district, for the purpose of discussing the measures to be adopted for giving an impetus to the co-operative movement in the sudder sub-division of the district. The present registrar, then deputy registrar, also attended. It was then decided that an Honorary organizer should be appointed. In october 1914, Babu Prafulla Chandra Patnaik was appointed Honorary organizer .Mr. Kilby had then taken charge of the district. Before March 1915, seven societies were organized which were financed by the Honorable Raja of Kanika and Babu Upendra Narain Dutta Gupta.

However it was felt towards the end of the year 1915 that when we had so many villages, in which the principle of joint and several liability had been worked so long, that the creation of a Central Bank would have to precede the considerable tension of village societies.

Mr. Collins, Registrar of Co-operative Societies on leave now. After personally visiting some of the societies, advised the starting of a Co-operative Central Bank.The Honorary organiser then drew up the bye-laws and prospectus on the basis of model bye-laws and prospectus and organized the Central Bank. An application for its registration was sent on the 12th January 1916.

It was only registered as No. 134 of 1915-16 under act II of 1912 on the 19th February 1916.Although the bank had been registered, it didn't commence to work till the last of June 1916.The operations of Bank are confined to the sudder sub-division of Balasore only.

The Report further says: It is too early yet to try to observe anything on this point, but we believe, the societies have been much benefited by the cheaper money they got by the facilities them for purchasing bullocks; by bringing into play the spirit of fair and honest dealing between man and man, a spirit we are doing our best to foster.

Rudiments of Co-operation are not unknown in the village communities though the principle of joint credit is unfamiliar to the people of this part of the country. The council of elders, even now exercise considerable power in the village. It is not unnatural that co-operative movement should spread in the congenial soil and the popularity of the movement and the appreciation by the villagers of the benefits are daily in evidence by the increasing eagerness of village people either to become members of existing societies or to open new ones. Improvidence and illiteracy are the two besetting evils of the people and if the co-operative movement by teaching thrift and punctuality, by giving impetus to education and improvement in agriculture, by introducing systematized payment and re-payment of loans, can contribute its share in the amelioration of the agricultural class, it will have amply justified its inauguration. And since then there has been no looking back.