Maharashtra Urban Cooperative Banks Federation Chairman Vidyadhar Anaskar has submitted his idea for a new National Cooperative Policy after the Ministry of Cooperation started soliciting feedback from stakeholders on the issue.
Anaskar asserts that the national cooperative policy should be such as to preserve the cooperative principles, adding that the recent amendments introduced in the Banking Regulation Act in 2020 negatively affect the cooperative and the principles and culture of the cooperative. Banks.
Then, he advocates the creation of a “Central University of Cooperation” which will provide courses and undertake research projects on cooperation. Some courses and research projects could focus on history, contemporary social and technological challenges, behavioral economics and social dynamics, he pointed out. The proposed cooperation university can develop study programs and programs for students to follow.
Stating that there are a variety of cooperatives in the country, some in commercial activities and some in non-economic activities, Anaskar says the new national policy should ensure financial discipline in cooperatives engaged in commercial activities.
Demanding the establishment of a cooperative mutual fund, he asserts that the problem of liquidity crisis faced by cooperatives can be solved by the establishment of a cooperative mutual aid body in each area of the cooperative segment to provide assistance. timely to cooperatives in need. The fund is expected to have a certain proportion contributed by the central government as well as state governments, he adds.
The proposed policy should take due account of the need to establish ADRs exclusively for the cooperative sector so that an amicable settlement of disputes between members or between members and cooperative societies is possible. He also talks about the establishment of co-operative courts and separate benches of the High Court in each state.
Talking about the need for cooperatives to be apolitical, Anaskar says cooperatives should be free from politics and there should be special incentives and programs for cooperatives in neglected sectors.
There are 1051 multi-state cooperative societies across the country, of which 62 are cooperative banks and 473 are cooperative credit societies, i.e. more than 50% of the societies are engaged in the provision of credit facilities. credit to their members.
Anaskar also called for support for cooperatives in the form of low tax rates, interest rates, granting of subsidies, incentives, introduction of innovative programs, etc. It also expects cooperative registrars to play a development role for cooperatives in accordance with constitutional provisions.
Other issues addressed by Anaskar’s lengthy letter include uniform law for cooperatives, profit sharing by cooperative administrators, reduction of stamp duty, preference for cooperatives in government tenders and UCBs are allowed to act as agency banks and manage any central/state government business at the same level as other peer banks.
Anaskar also talks about UCB secrecy and asserts that the RTI Act is not applicable to cooperatives, but that alternative deliberation and decision-making processes must be developed to protect secrecy and confidentiality, especially in the areas of credit and banking.