The Lok Sabha Passed the Bill Multi-State Cooperative Societies (Amendment) Bill, 2022

Union Minister Amit Shah says that with the passing of this bill by this House, a new era will begin in the country's cooperative movement.

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The Multi-State Cooperative Societies (Amendment) Bill, 2022, was discussed in the Lok Sabha by Shri Amit Shah, the Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation. Under Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s direction, the bill promotes openness, accountability, and profit in multistate cooperative societies. The bill contains provisions enabling the Election Authority to implement electoral reforms, guarantee fair elections, and permit disciplinary action at board sessions. Additionally, it includes clauses that allow equity stockholders to grant themselves a majority.

The law increases the representation of these groups in committees by granting reservation to one member from each Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe and one woman. A board member may be removed for failing to follow the Constitution. The Right to Information is also included in the measure.

Since India’s independence, Shri Amit Shah has emphasised the value of cooperatives and the demand for a separate Ministry of Cooperation. He emphasised that India’s approximately 115-year-old cooperative movement has provided the nation with numerous significant businesses, including Amul, Kribhco, and IFFCO. He emphasised that in the past 75 years, the cooperative sector has not received much attention but that in the next 25 years, it will play an important role in the nation’s growth.

Shri Amit Shah also emphasised the efforts being made by the central government to computerise and revitalise PACS across the nation. This will guarantee connection to NABARD, State Cooperative Banks, and District Cooperative Banks. The computerization will allow the audit process to run entirely online, allowing the PACS to conduct other kinds of business. Except for Bengal and Kerala, Shri Modi has proposed model bye-laws for Public Accounts Cooperatives (PACS) in every state. A similar law now governs PACS, and 1100 PACS have already registered as FPOs. Additionally, the Modi administration has given petrol cylinders to millions of people, enabling them to distribute water, free food and LPG. Through a water committee, PACS will also manage Janaushadhi Kendras and water distribution. PACSs can now store things since the government has connected them to the storage system.

By eliminating the 30% income tax on farmer profits and refunding previously paid taxes, the Modi administration has brought cooperative and corporate taxes into parity. To support cooperatives, the government has also planned to create three new multi-state organisations. The first society will export agricultural products, the second will link seed production to small farmers, and the third will set fair prices for agricultural products by promoting organic goods internationally.

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has also established the National Cooperative Database and a cooperative university for cooperative education. The country will see the cooperative landscape for the next 25 years thanks to the new national cooperative policy created before this year’s Diwali.

Shri Amit Shah emphasised that in the past nine years, the Modi administration has worked to lift millions of people out of poverty and has established a special Ministry of Cooperation to aid with cooperatives and agriculture. The law has provisions for streamlining corporate procedures, enhancing transparency, bolstering the monitoring system, and modernising the electoral process. The bill also strongly emphasises taking fast remedial action through a concurrent audit, abiding by Central Registrar discipline in cases of fraud and illegal activity, and establishing and looking into a society’s operations and financial standing.

The law also contains provisions for amendments to registration processes, prompt application processing, electronic document submission, and scrutiny. Additionally, it allows for liquidation following a hearing, applying the Banking Regulation Act of 1949 to cooperative banks, and the redemption of government shares with previous government consent.