Self Help Cooperatives
The Government of Odisha enacted a new legislation called the Odisha Self-Help Cooperatives Act, 2001 which came into force on 01 June 2002 for creating an environment for the formation of new generation cooperatives and conversion of Cooperative Societies registered under the Odisha Cooperative Societies Act, 1962, as self-help, self-reliant, mutually-aided, autonomous, democratically-run, business enterprises which are to be owned, managed and controlled by the Members. The Self-Help Co-operatives are formed by members with common interests engaged in income-generating activities which will help in their economic and social up-liftment and empowerment. This Act came into force with effect from 01.06.02.The prominent features of this Act are :
- Cooperatives registered under this Act will be guided by the Act and the Articles of Association.
- Cooperatives registered under this Act will not receive loans, guarantee and share capital from Government.
- The Articles of Association of every Cooperative will require each member to fulfil certain minimum responsibilities towards the Cooperative before exercising the rights of membership, including the right to vote.
- Surplus or deficit is to be shared amongst members by crediting / debiting these to their accounts, in proportion, to their transaction with the cooperative. The cooperative can, nonetheless, proceed against those responsible for the deficit, if it was the result of mismanagement.
- All those (including for Ex-Auditors) on whom this Act places responsibility, will be deemed to have committed offence if they violate the provision of the Act. Offences shall be handled by the Court.
- The Board has to be an elected one. The Directors will retire by rotation in case of primary cooperatives and by rotation or at a time in case of secondary cooperatives with a maximum tenure of five years.
- Disputes within a Cooperative shall be settled by an Arbitral Tribunal set up by the Cooperative.
- The cooperative principles (given as Schedule-D of the Act) will have to be adhered to by each cooperative for which it shall make express commitment.
1272 Self-Help Cooperatives have been registered under the Odisha Self-Help Cooperatives Act, 2001 by the end of December 2010. Such cooperatives have been functioning in the field of thrift and credit; labour and construction; tourism, cooperative education, housing, engineering, agri-processing, sugar industry, dairy, timber marketing, pisciculture, handloom and transport.