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New Delhi, Nov 30 (PTI) The government plans to amend the Multi-State Co-operative Societies Act, 2002, in order to have an effective regulatory mechanism as well as to protect interest of depositors and shareholders of the societies.

In a written reply to the Lok Sabha, Minister of Cooperation Amit Shah said, “It is proposed to amend the Multi-State Cooperative Societies Act, 2002, so as to have a effective regulatory mechanism for the multi state cooperative societies, to keep the legislation in tune with the changing economic policies, to make the management accountable to the members of the societies and to protect the interests of the depositors and the shareholders of the societies.” He said the new ministry has been created to realise the vision from cooperation to prosperity; strengthening of cooperative movement and deepening its reach up to the grassroots; promotion of cooperative-based economic development model; and creation of appropriate policy, legal and institutional framework.

In reply to a separate query on scams in cooperative banks, Shah said, “As and when instances of fraud/misappropriation come to notice, concerned regulatory authorities take necessary action.” Primary (Urban) Co-operative Banks, State and District Central Co-operative banks are regulated by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) under the relevant provisions of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, while the Primary Agricultural Credit Society (PACS) is regulated by the state government.

Asked whether the government intends to develop a central database on co-operatives, Shah said: “Yes”.

“The information on the number of co-operative societies, their business activities, their location, their financial health, their contribution to Indian economy, etc., are important ingredients for taking any policy initiative or creating any welfare scheme in cooperative sector,” he said.

The national database will provide one such step for creating conducive environment for fulfilling mandated allocation of business for newly created Ministry of Cooperation, Shah said. PTI MJH HRS hrs