Amendments to be made to cooperative sector laws: Vasavan
Amendments will be made to the laws governing the cooperative sector as many of the existing laws are weak in the current context, Minister for Cooperation and Registration V.N. Vasavan has said.
The comprehensive amendments to the Kerala Cooperative Societies Act were expected to be presented in the next Assembly session, said the Minister after inaugurating a webinar organised by the Kerala NGO Union on the topic ‘Cooperative sector-challenges and solutions’ on Tuesday.
He said that the consultations with experts regarding the amendments were in the final phase. A complete overhaul would also be brought about in the auditing system, with the appointment of an independent director. On the loan scam unearthed at the Karuvannur Service Cooperative Bank, he said that it was something that should not have happened at a cooperative institution.
“If such a scam went on for 10 years, it could not have happened without the connivance of the bank officials, some members of the administration, and officials of the cooperative department. This scam could have been stopped long ago if the inspectors had noticed it and reported it in time. Such an auditing system cannot be condoned. Even though the issue at Karuvannur is an isolated one, there are similar tendencies in some other banks too. The officials should be able to inspect and stop this at the tight time, and give a chance for rectification,” he said.
Mr. Vasavan said that a majority in the sector were doing the job with a commitment to serve the people, but a few bad apples had given the tools to the forces trying to destroy the cooperative sector. A cooperative audit monitoring information system in association with C-DIT would be implemented within a month. The work for linking of the entire IT infrastructure of the cooperatives had been tendered. A new norm to ensure that no person continues in the same post for more than two years would be brought about. He said that primary agricultural cooperatives should try to invest their surplus funds in Kerala bank to ensure that these were utilised within the State.
Accusing the Union government of having political motives in bringing a separate Ministry for the Cooperative sector, he said the ruling BJP was trying to replicate the gains they were able to make in Gujarat by a slow takeover of the cooperative sector in the other States like Kerala too.