The Cooperative societies have been the hot bed of corruption. Especially in states like Maharashtra and Karnataka the loot and exploitation in cooperatives are high.

What are cooperative societies?

Think of Amul. Several milkmen and milkwomen came together and sold their milk under the brand Amul and got better returns due to collective bargaining. The profits made by Amul is shared across them as opposed to a private company.

How the various political leaders loot the cooperative societies?

  1. They create monopolies. For e.g. Sugar. A sugar farmer but has no choice to sell his/her produce to a particular society.
  2. Though the laws mandate elections, they don’t hold elections as there is no penal provision.
  3. They fill the positions with their kith and kins.
  4. They don’t do Audit.

Due to the financial surrender of the farmers to the societies they vote for the same leaders whether they like it or not.

How the BJP struck the great loot?

The Multi-State Co-operative Societies Act, 2002 had several loopholes. The BJP Govt struck the fundamental flaws of the law by passing the The Multi-State Co-operative Societies (Amendment) Act, 2022 last year.

  1. A Central election authority will be formed by the Central Govt which will conduct elections if the election is not conducted after the expiry of the term. The corrupt political leaders who were sitting in positions for ever by delaying elections cannot do that any more.
  2. It makes it easy for amalgation of Cooperative societies. If the members of the society find a better society, they can merge theirs with the other of the resolution is passed by a 2/3rd majority. So the political leaders will lose their monopoly.
  3. The Annual General Body Meeting has been mandatory and if not held, the elected office bearers will be responsible. Earlier the corrupt leaders did not hold the meetings so that nothing gets discussed.
  4. If the corruption charges are proved against an elected member (s)he cannot hold any position in the same society or any other society
  5. Term limits are imposed on the office bearers.
  6. An elected member cannot appoint his family (spouse, children, grand children, in-laws and other members of Hindu Undivided family) to any position in the society nor can give business contracts.
  7. Govt will create Co-operative Ombudsman(s) for redressal of complaints.

I am sure all these will clean up our cooperative societies and really benefit the people they are intended to.

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