Parliamentary panel suggests key changes to NCDC Amendment Bill

Written by Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: Mar 30 2013, 06:05am hrs
A Parliamentary panel has suggested changes to an amendment Bill to ensure agri-business firms do not misuse funds of National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) in the garb of producer companies. The NCDC Amendment Bill, introduced in the Lok Sabha in 2012, aims to treat producer companies at par with cooperative societies for availing financial help from the NCDC.

The National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) advances loans and subsidies to state governments for financing cooperative societies and for employment of staff for implementing programmes of cooperative development.

The producer companies are propagated as the best option for boosting the sagging cooperative sector. Corporate and agri-business houses may corner NCDC funds in the garb of producer, the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, headed by Basudeb Acharia, which examined the Bill, said in its report.

It recommended that the NCDC Act, 1962, and the rules and guidelines framed thereunder should be so modified as to ensure that the funds of NCDC do not land in the hands of undeserving because in that eventuality, the very purpose of setting up of the corporation will be defeated."

The panel suggested the government make provisions for protecting the interest of the marginalised section because formation of a producer company is a voluntary process and no law exists to safeguard them from negative impact of companies. On NCDC funding to non-farm sectors, the panel said: NCDC should channelise its energy and attention towards farm related portfolio, rather than frittering away resources for services other than agriculture."

The panel rapped the government for inordinate delay in bringing amendments to the NCDC Act, 1962.