The Maharashtra cabinet has approved amending the Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act, 1960, state minister for co-operation Harshvardhan Patil said in Mumbai on Thursday.
The Act is applicable to 2.47 lakh co-operative bodies all over Maharashtra with an annual turnover of Rs6 lakh crore and a total member strength of 5.50 lakh.
The amendments, necessitated due to the 97th constitutional amendment, were discussed at a cabinet meeting here yesterday, the minister told reporters.
The state government will issue an ordinance and the new measure would become effective from February 16.
As per new norms, co-operatives having an 'A' audit class for three consecutive years would be able to park their funds in nationalised, scheduled and urban co-operative banks.
To enable elected co-operative bodies to complete their five-year terms, it has been decided that their elections will be conducted only after completion of their terms, through a proposed State Co-operative Election Authority, Patil said.
The strength of the board of directors will be fixed at 21, of which five seats will be reserved, he said. Out of these five reserved seats, two seats would be for women, one for scheduled caste / scheduled tribe, one for other backward class, as well as one for 'Vimukta Jati' and notified tribes, he said.
Co-operative housing societies would be able to initiate recovery of dues from defaulting members by instituting measures which could include seizure or disposal of flats of concerned members, he said.
Under new norms, it would be mandatory for an annual general meeting to appoint an auditor. Audits of co-operative bodies would be carried out by certified government auditors, he said.
Co-operative bodies would be required to prepare lists of active and non-active members annually. Active members would be eligible to vote in elections to these co-operative bodies.