Odisha to provide more teeth to its cooperatives

Bhubaneswar: Odisha has decided to amend its cooperative law to provide more teeth to its cooperative institutions and to bring it in conformity with amended provisions of the constitution, an official said Saturday.

Bishnupada Sethi, secretary, department of cooperation, said the state cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Friday cleared a proposal for amendment of the state’s cooperative law.

According to the proposal, the government will set up a State Cooperative Election Commission to conduct elections every five years and the election commissioner would be appointed by the governor, Sethi told.

The board of directors of the cooperative societies is to be constituted having maximum number of 21 directors with reservation of one seat for Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes and two seats for women, he said.

The term of office of the elected members of the board shall be five years and interim vacancy in the board shall be filled up by nomination or election, he said, on the key provisions the government has planned.

Professionals, not exceeding two, shall be co-opted to be the directors in the board and the functional director (chief executive) shall also be a director in addition to the maximum 21 elected directors.

The co-opted and functional directors shall have no voting rights, he pointed out.

Sethi said the government is likely to introduce the bill in the ongoing session of the state assembly.

The Constitution (Ninety-Seventh Amendment) Act 2011 has come into force with effect from 15th February 2012. As per the constitutional amendment, forming of co-operative societies has been made a fundamental right for the citizens of India.

In keeping with the provisions of the Act, it becomes mandatory for the state government to carry out necessary amendment of the Odisha Cooperative Societies Act, 1962 to bring it in conformity with the amended provisions of the constitution, he said.

Odisha has about 5,000 cooperative societies with a total of about 65 lakh families as members.


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