KATHMANDU, March 27: The National Cooperatives Development Board (NCDB) has formed a committee to amend two-decade-old Cooperatives Act and draft bills on savings and credit cooperatives, and cooperative bank.
The eight-member committee headed by co-chairman of the NCDB comprises registrar of the cooperatives department; officials of the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives and Nepal Rastra Bank; a specialist and the member secretary of the NCDB, and president of National Cooperatives Association.
“If need be, we can invite professionals from various umbrella organizations of different cooperatives to get expert views and opinions,” Netra Prasad Neupane, member secretary of the NCDB, told Republica.
The primary goal of the committee is to make necessary prescriptions to make Cooperatives Act of 1992 timely. It will also draft Savings and Credit Cooperatives Act and Cooperative Bank Act but it is not sure whether they will be introduced as separate acts or will become a part of the new Cooperatives Act.
A high-level committee formed to recommend measures to address challenges faced by the cooperatives sector had identified presence of two-decade-old law and failure to make timely amendments as factors that had prevented cooperatives movement from achieving its desired goal.
Today there are over 23,500 cooperatives operating in the country as against 9,720 around half a decade ago.
“Against this backdrop, necessary changes need to be made in the law to ensure proper growth of cooperatives sector,” said the report filed by the high-level committee formed under the former vice-chairman of the National Planning Commission.
The high-level committee had also prescribed formulation of act on savings and credit cooperatives as almost 50 percent of the total cooperatives in the country are savings and credit, which function in the same manner as many other financial institutions.
The report had also said financial transactions of National Cooperative Bank formed eight years ago have started growing significantly lately which calls for formation of a legal tool to manage its operation.
“The committee will take all these factors into consideration while amending the act and preparing drafts of two bills,” said Neupane. But how long will the process take is not yet known as, according to Neupane, the committee has not called its first meeting so far.