Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Bill, 2013 was tabled in the Maharashtra Assembly on the 12th of July 2013 and was passed with amendements. The following is now the ammnded MCAct – as ammended in 2013
Maharashtra government today tabled the Joint Select Committee’s report on Maharashtra Co-operative Societies (Amendment) Bill, 2013. The committee has suggested several changes include:
- allowing a co-operative society member to continue as an active member even if he or she fails to attend at least one general body meeting in five years. Earlier, the proposal was to treat such members as ‘inactive’.
- Also, in a major relief to new members of co-operative societies, the committee said it would be unjust to deprive voting rights to those who had not completed three years as members.One can vote and contest as soon as one is admitted as a member.
- The new rules have capped a society’s managing committee upper size to 21 members and stipulated that the term of elected members would be five years. It would be mandatory for the co-operative society to reserve two seats for women members.
- Audit Report to be placed before the Annual General Body Meeting, along with returns. (Section 75, Sub-section (2).
- Annual General Meeting, to be now called Annual General Body meeting is required to be held by 30th September. Failure to do shall result in disqualification of the committee [Section 75, Sub-section (1)].
The panel has suggested that if any loss is caused to a co-operative credit society while implementing any government schemes or programmes, the government shall make available financial assistance to such a society on a priority basis.
Co-operation minister Harshvardhan Patil said co-operative societies in the state would have to conduct elections within six months of the close of financial year.
This is one of several amendments made to the Maharashtra Co-operatives Act, 1960, to bring it in consonance with the 97th amendment of the Constitution. There are nearly 2.15 lakh co-operative societies in Maharashtra and the total membership of these societies is over 5 crore.
The following is the text of the ordinance issued by Maharashtra Government earlier. but it no longer prevails. Only the clauses mentioned above are effective.
Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act, 1960 –
Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act, 1960 – Amendments 2013
vide Ordinance dated 14 February, 2013
The recital of an Act gives the rationale, objectives and the good to be achieved. Normally these things do not come in the main body. One must appreciate how the Legislature has brought these things in the body of the Act. Clause (27) of section 2 epitomises the cooperative philosophy by newly added words about a cooperative society – “which is an autonomous association of persons, united voluntarily to meet their common needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise and adhering to the cooperative principles and values”.
- Members :
Only those who attend at least one general body meeting in consecutive five years and utilise minimum level of services (to be specified by government) are considered as `active members’ and will be eligible for voting. Non active members, if fulfill above conditions can become active members (section 2, new clause a-1 definition of `active member’). (NOT PASSED)
- A new State Co-operative Election Authority (SCEA) will be set up. The superintendence, direction and control of elections of the cooperative societies will vest in this authority (new section 73 B). The committee of every co-operative society is required to inform the SCEA about the expiry of its term of office at least six months before the date of expiry of its term, as also about the occurrence of a casual vacancy within fifteen days of its occurrence.(NOT PASSED)
- Term of the managing committee will be of five years [Section 73 AAA – Sub section (3)].(PASSED)
- Two seats shall be reserved for women on the committee if there are women members of the society. The 97th CAA mandates reservation of one seat each for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, if persons belonging to this category are members. The M.C.S. Act, already has such provision (Section 73 B).(PASSED)
- Annual General Meeting, to be now called Annual General Body meeting is required to be held by 30th September. Failure to do shall result in disqualification of the committee [Section 75, Sub-section (1)]. (PASSED)
- Two Experts members are to be co-opted, those having qualification and experience in banking, finance or the field relevant to the society (Expert director definition, section 2, new clause 11-A). For a cooperative housing society, civil engineering, electrical engineering, structural engineering are very relevant, as such qualified persons from these fields could be co-opted as “expert members”. (NOT PASSED)
- General body to appoint auditor of prescribed qualification and experience from a panel approved by the Registrar. (NOT PASSED)
- Audit Report to be placed before the Annual General Body Meeting, along with returns. (Section 75, Sub-section (2). (PASSED)
- Every Society to constitute Grievances Settlement and Redressal Committee –an in-house panel to redress members grievances (new Section 89 AB). (NOT PASSED)
- The Registrar will have power of supersession of committee or removal of a member in case of persistent default or negligence in performance of duties etc. (new Section 78 A).(PASSED)
- A new sub-section (4) in section 166 provides that “the committees of which the elections become due after 31st March, 2013, shall continue till the elections to such societies are held under the provisions of this Act, as amended by the said Ordinance or till the expiration of their form, whichever is earlier. (NOT PASSED)
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