Ground Report | New Delhi: Cooperative Societies Act; Union Home and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah said that the Central Government will soon bring amendments to the Multi-State Cooperative Societies Act. He also said that a new policy for cooperatives is being discussed.
Cooperative Societies Act
He said that a question may arise that according to the Constitution, cooperative is a state subject. This can be answered within the legal framework but the newly created ministry will work closely with the states and there will be no deadlock.
He said that there is no conflict with anyone, we will take everyone along and take this movement forward. In many states, prosperous cooperatives are under the control of opposition parties such as the Nationalist Congress Party or the Congress.
Co-operative societies decide the political future in states like Maharashtra, Kerala, Gujarat, parts of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, and West Bengal. The formation of the Ministry of Cooperation was announced on July 5 this year and Amit Shah got this ministry during the cabinet expansion.
Amit Shah said in his statement that the central government is also considering amendments to the laws governing Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS). After this advisory will be sent to the states and they will also have to amend the relevant laws.
Noting that 65,000 Primary Agriculture Co-operative Societies (PACS) are not enough to meet the needs of 6 lakh villages, he said: “We will set a target of setting up PACS in every other village in the coming five years. To increase the number from 65,000 to 3 lakh, the Ministry of Cooperation will prepare a proper legal framework that will be advisory in nature. We will send it to the state governments. The states can amend their laws.”
“The biggest problem is that if a PACS goes bankrupt, you cannot create a new PACS until you complete the liquidation process of the old one. This requires a legal framework so that the process of winding up and formation of new PACS go hand in hand.
role of PACS
He said that the Center would ensure that the computerization of all the PACS is completed in a short time. He said that software is being developed to integrate PACS, DCB (District Co-operative Bank), and NABARD.
Underlining the need for skill development in the cooperative sector, Shah said that the ministry is preparing an action plan for the same. He said that the role of PACS needs to be strengthened and expanded so that even the most marginalized person can get credit. Giving an example, he said that if a person needs Rs 1,000 for Diwali, he should get that loan amount.
“We need these types of societies on the ground. A bank cannot do this. Banks will ask for paper. Hey brother, if he had paper with him, he is asked to take thousand rupees. Paper nahi hai (Bank needs documents. If the person has documents, why would he come for a loan of Rs 1000. He doesn’t have documents),” Shah said.