The Odisha Cooperative Societies (Amendment) Bill, 2013 and Odisha Self-Help Co-operatives (Repeal) Bill, 2001 have received Governor SC Jamir’s assent, official sources said here today.
Both these bills had been passed during the monsoon session of the state Assembly.
The State Government had promulgated an ordinance on June 6 to repeal the Odisha Self-Help Cooperative Act, 2001 to bring all registered co-operative bodes under the Act within the purview of the Odisha Cooperative Societies Act, 1962, so as to have a single cooperative Act in the state in line with the 97th amendment to the Constitution of India in 2011.
The ordinance was challenged in a writ petition filed in the Orissa High Court by Pandit Dindayal Multi-Purpose Co-operative Society Limited of Basta in Balasore district. It lapsed on October 1. Now with the Governor’s assent, the Bill replacing the ordinance becomes an Act.
With this new Act coming into effect, all the 1634 self help cooperatives will go for amendment in their Articles of Associations and reconstitute Board of Directors, said an official. If they fail to do so, these cooperative organisations will be taken over by the Registrar of Cooperative Societies of Odisha to amend such changes in the organisations as per the amended provisions of the Odisha Cooperative Societies Act, 1962. .
The State Government can now take up audit of these cooperatives and examine their Books of Accounts, the official said. Earlier, the cooperative societies coming under the now repealed act were not audited and were not under the administrative control of the Registrar.
Of the 1634 Cooperative societies, about 1000 are Credit Cooperative Societies, many of which are involved in chit fund activities, said the official. By virtue of the new act, the government can restrain these organisations from duping hapless investors.
Section 17 in the Amendment Act required holding of elections to all co-operative societies within six months from the date of commencement of the Amendment Act. The Odisha Cooperative Societies (Amendment) Act, 2013 came into force with effect from January 30, 2013 and the six-month time expired on July 31.
The Bill for amendment to the Odisha Co-operative Societies (Amendment) Act, 2013 has sought to extend the time period for holding elections to Co-operative Societies by another 12 months
It is to be noted that the State Cabinet recently gave its approval to the proposal of the Cooperation department to extend the period for holding of election to cooperative institutions till July, 2014.
Now every cooperative existing before the commencement of the ordinance will be deemed to be registered under the corresponding provisions of the Odisha Cooperative Societies Act, 1962.