Published On: Wed, Sep 27th, 2017

Co-operative movement facing a slow death

committeeBy S S Nair

Accommodation Times Bureau

 

The Maharashtra  StateCo-operative Act, Rules and bye-laws were framed to encourage co-operative feeling among the people and as an instrument to inculcate the co-operative moment.

 

Whenever amendments of the Act, rules and bye-laws are made people were expecting that something new and innovative ways will be found which will be friendly to the members, managing committee as well as the authorities.

 

But actually whenever the amendments are put in action, there is misery all around. Neither the authorities are able to solve disputes, nor the managing committee is in a better position and the members are leftsandwiched between the authorities and the managing committee or in Co-operative Court.

 

The grievances are mounting day by day either in the office of the Dy Registrars or in the Co-operative Courts with no solution whether minor or major is the dispute. Some of the election petitions do not come up in Co-operative Courts in five years for which period managing committees are elected.

 

It looks that the Dy Registrar’s office give special preference to defaulters.  Although there is a provision to take action if Sr citizens are harassed in Housing societies, no action seems to have been taken.  The office of the Dy Registrar is just a post office-they receive complaints and forward to the Societies for action by the managing committee. This is the end. But if there is any discrepancy in the case of managing committee they are dismissed. If audit rectification form is not submitted it will lead to dismissal of the managing committee. If the committee does not meet once in a month they can be dismissed.

 

The procedure for execution of Bond was introduced but it died anunnatural death. Several societies were affected. Managing committees of several societies were affected. If the Bond is not executed within the stipulated time, the managing committee stands dissolved.

 

Then there was a decision to get Societies accounts audited once in three years by Govt auditor. The accounts of Societies are now audited by a CA who is in the panel list. One auditor is given certain number of societies each year and he has to be changed after the stipulated period.

 

Now there is a new rule according to which election has to be conducted by Govt appointed Election officer. This seems to have paved the way for large scale mal practices and corruption. Various procedures are made compulsory.The Election department has fixed some amount for conducting elections in Co-operative Societies. In which society the election is conducted only by paying the declared Election fees. The question comes, no one cares to check the watchman.

 

The role of Housing Federation is defined but not respected. Before taking action against a society the Housing Federation is to be consulted. It is mandatory provision. It is only on paper.

 

There are several such rules and bye-laws which remain only on paper and never practiced. Whether entry of subtenant, report to the police, intimation to society or taking prior written permission of society for additions and alterations the story is same. There is no check by the authorities.

 

It is observed if a member has more than two children, he is not entitled to become a managing committee member. Who has checked the implementation of the Section.

 

There are reports that many societies have not conducted statutory audits for several years. But not giving Audit rectification report to the Registrar is a crime and the managing is liable to be dismissed whereas nothing happens if audit is not conducted. However if audit is not at all conducted no action.

 

There are instances where the Registrar’s office issues notice to society fixing hearing of certain complaints. It never reaches the society. But it reaches the complainant in advance. The notice is delivered to societies after the hearing gets over so that the society is blamed for non-attendance.

 

Certain orders are passed. But first it goes to the complainant and then after long delay it finds the way to the society that too when the society sends a request.

 

If these problems are not enough some more will be added to the burden of the managing committees under the GST implementation. No one has an idea where the GST is applicable. There is no guidelines to housing societies till date.

 

S S Nair

 

(The writer is an office bearer for the last 25 years and had actual experience how the office bearers are treated.)

 

 

 

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