New Delhi: A bill to ensure autonomy of
cooperative societies and keep them free from outside
interference was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
The Constitution (111th Amendment) Bill 2009, introduced
by Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, aims at ensuring
autonomous and democratic functioning of the cooperatives.
It would also ensure the accountability of the managements
to the members and other stakeholders and act as a deterrent
for violation of the provisions of the law.
The legislation proposes to provide for incorporation,
regulation and winding up of these societies "based on the
principles of democratic member-control, member-economic
participation and autonomous functioning," its Statement of
Objects and Reasons said.
Under the provisions, the maximum number of directors
would not exceed 21 and they would have a five-year term from
the date of election. There would be reservation of one seat
for scheduled castes or scheduled tribes and two for women on
Among other things, the bill would provide for independent
professional audit of the societies and give the right to
information to their members.
The state governments would be empowered to obtain
periodic reports of their activities and accounts. The bill
would also provide for penalties for offences relating to