Dileep Sanghani, president, National Cooperative Union of India (NCUI) stated that the government should not take away its authority to collect and maintain a fund to promote cooperative education and training.
The Cooperative Education Fund was created under Multi-State Cooperative Societies (MSCS) Act, 1984, and has been maintained by NCUI since inception as per guidelines of the government. The cooperation ministry has proposed amendments to the MSCS Act 2002 to take control of the fund and use proceeds for cooperative education and training through NCUI or any other agency.
Multi-state cooperative societies contribute one per cent out of their net profits in any year to the Cooperative Education Fund, as per the 63 (1) (b) of the Multi State Cooperative Societies Act (MSCS), 2002. About Rs 25 crore is collected annually.
Opposing this clause in the draft amendments to the MSCS Act, NCUI president added that the maintenance of Cooperative Education Fund by the government will give a signal that the government wants to control the fund, in which it has no contribution, which is against the autonomous principles of cooperatives.
Therefore, the fund should remain with NCUI, he said in a statement.
Over the years, as an implementing agency of education and training programmes of the government, NCUI has trained a large number of offices and non-officials from primary to national level in the various sectoral areas of cooperatives, which has been widely appreciated.
Through this proposed amendment to the Act, Sanghani elaborated that the government wants to act as the custodian of the fund so that there may be better monitoring and administration of the fund, and those multi-state cooperatives societies that are not contributing to the fund may do so with penalties. “However, till date there have been no complaints regarding the use of funds,” he said.
Based on the views of the representatives of member institutions, NCUI has voiced its concerns over various issues pertaining to the draft amendments of MSCS Act, 2002, including the issue of education fund.
The members have felt that the management of the Cooperative Education Fund by the central government will marginalise the importance of NCUI which is an umbrella organisation of the cooperative movement. “There is also a feeling that under the present arrangement, the government may come up with more stringent utilisation measures of the fund, or have few more nominees in the present committee,” he added.
The newly set up cooperation ministry has sought comments from various stakeholders on the draft amendments to the MSCS Act.
With inputs from PTI.