The Assembly on Saturday repealed Odisha Self-Help Cooperative Act, 2001 and approved the Bill to amend the Odisha Cooperative Societies (Amendment) Act, 2012 for extension of time to hold polls to cooperative bodies.
After repeal of Self-Help Cooperative Act, the societies registered under it will now be deemed to be registered under the Odisha Cooperative Societies Act, 1962 (the principal Act).
The bylaws or Articles of Association of these societies are required to be amended in conformity with the principal Act and the Board of Directors needs to be reconstituted within three months failing which the Registrar of Cooperative Societies can take over management of these societies. With further amendment of the Odisha Cooperative Societies (Amendment) Act, 2012, election to the cooperative societies has been extended by another year making the total statutory period 18 months as against six months earlier.
As per the 97th constitutional amendment, formation of cooperative societies is a Fundamental Right. Promotion of cooperative societies has been made obligatory for the State and it is mandatory for the State to enact laws in conformity with amended provision of the Act.
Introducing the two Bills, Cooperation Minister Bikram Keshari Arukh said the State Government felt it necessary to bring all the registered societies including the self-help cooperatives under the principal Act as there was no need to have two separate Acts after the constitutional amendment.
Congress Chief Whip Prasad Harichandan sought to know from the Minister as to how many societies have changed their bylaws and whether election to the cooperative societies will be completed by July 30, 2014.
The Minister assured that the election will be completed within the extended time. But he said he has no information about number of societies that have changed their bylaws and reconstituted their boards of management.