The Multi-State Cooperative Societies (Amendment) Bill, 2022
- Recently, the Central Government has introduced the Multi-State Cooperative Societies (Amendment) Bill, 2022 in the Lok Sabha.
- The bill has been introduced to amend the Multi-State Co-operative Societies (MSCS) Act, 2002.
- This amendment is being done keeping in mind the 97th Constitutional Amendment Act, 2011. The 97th Constitutional Amendment added a new Part IXB to the Constitution.
- The bill aims to increase transparency and accountability in cooperatives, improve ease of doing business and encourage better financial discipline.
Main provisions of the Bill
- Registration The application period for registration of multi-state cooperative society has been reduced from 4 months to 3 months.
- Board of Directors A board can have a maximum of 21 directors. Of these, at least one director should be a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe and two directors should be women.
Electoral Reforms: Cooperative Election Authority will be established for electoral reforms in the cooperative sector.
- Apart from the Chairman and Vice-Chairman, this Authority will consist of maximum 3 members appointed by the Central Government.
- Redressal of grievances The Central Government shall appoint one or more Co-operative Ombudsman to inquire into the grievances of the members.
- Fund for sick cooperatives: Cooperative Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Development Fund will be set up for revival of sick MSCS.
Other major provisions are as follows:
- The monetary penalty has been increased for the violation of the relevant provisions by the officers or members of the co-operative society;
- All multi-state cooperative societies have to appoint cooperative information officers;
- A multi-state co-operative society having annual turnover or deposits exceeding such amount as may be prescribed by the Central Government shall be subjected to concurrent audit.
- A new Part IXB was added immediately after Part IXA (Municipalities) in respect of co-operative societies operating in India by the Constitution (97th Amendment) Act, 2011.
- In Article 19(1)(c) under Part III of the Constitution, the word “co-operative” was added after “association and organisation”.
- It gives the status of a fundamental right to the right to form co-operative societies.
- A new article 43B was added in the Directive Principles of State Policy-Part IV regarding “promotion of co-operative societies”.
Multi-state co-operative societies
- Multi-state cooperatives are cooperatives whose activities are not confined to one state only. They serve the interests of individuals in more than one state.
- There are over 1,500 multi-state cooperative societies in India.
Source – The Hindu