Maharashtra to amend its cooperative law by Feb 15

Last Updated: Wed, Dec 26, 2012 19:30 hrs

The Maharashtra government on Wednesday proposed to amend its cooperative law to align it with the 97th Constitution (Amendment) Act by February 15.

“The government will meet the February 15, 2013, deadline to amend the state cooperative laws,” Maharashtra minister for cooperatives Harshvardhan Patil, who heads a ministers’ panel to prepare draft amendments to the state cooperative law, told Business Standard.

He hoped the panel headed by him would complete the draft amendments within a month and submit it to the state cabinet for its approval. However, the state government differs with the central act on key issues relating to providing reservation to weaker sections in various cooperative bodies.

The 97th Constitution (Amendment) Act has envisaged three posts to be reserved, while Maharashtra is keen to retain its present strength of seven seats reserved for women, other backward classes, economically weaker sections, vimukta jatis’ (nomadic tribes) and notified tribes.

Further, the central act envisages that elections to cooperative bodies be conducted by state election commissions, which currently are responsible for elections in local and civic bodies.

According to Patil, the government would lay emphasis on the training aspect as envisaged in the central act.

The minister informed the government would also put in place a separate audit panel for cooperative bodies from Maharashtra in the proposed amendment. He said with the proposed amendments to the state cooperative law, federal bodies would have to send their audit reports to the state legislature for its approval.

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