Indian Cooperative.com published a piece in which Dr G N Saxena, Director(Cooperative Development) at IFFCO shared his views about Education Fund and demanded that it should be shifted in the custody of some neutral government agency such as NCDC.
NCUI, the apex body of Cooperatives in the country has reacted to this statement by Dr Saxena.
Indian Cooperative.com believes that discourse and free flow of ideas will build strong cooperative movement and thus offers plat form to cooperatives institutions and cooperators so that meaningful dialogue could be started.
We produce excerpts of the rejoinder from NCUI which came as a signed copy from Mrs Anita Manchanda,Chief Executive
In a strong rebuttal to the frivolous and fallacious charges leveled by Dr. G.N. Saxena, one of the officers of IFFCO about the operation of Cooperative Education Fund by NCUI (News posted by Ajay Jha on 12th October, 2010 in Indian Cooperative.com), NCUI has to emphatically explain its position as under :-
2. NCUI is registered under Multi-State Cooperative Societies Act, 2002 and all the provisions contained therein have the sanctity and sanction of the concerned authorities / bodies.
3. Any unwarranted deviation from the provisions of the Act could, therefore, be termed as questioning the wisdom of the above said authorities or in other words should have their considered approval / sanction before any interference in any of the provision(s) is suggested.
4. NCUI is an apex body of cooperatives in the country. Education and training is one of its prime objectives well recognized by GOI and cooperatives. The role of NCUI has been recognized in the said Act itself. As per Section 63 (1) (b) of the Act, “a multi-state cooperative society shall out of its net profits in any year credit one per cent to cooperative education fund `maintained’ by the National Cooperative Union of India, New Delhi in the manner as may be prescribed.” IFFCO being one of the profit making multi-state cooperative societies contributes to the Cooperative Education Fund “maintained” by NCUI which is in accordance with the provisions of the Act and a step in the right direction.
5. As per Multi-State Cooperative Societies Rules, 2002, Section 25 (1), “the Cooperative Education Fund shall be “administered” by a Committee constituted by the Central Government.” The Committee comprises of : President, NCUI, Chairperson, the Central Registrar, FA of DOAC, two representatives of Multi-State Societies nominated by the Central Government, the Director General, NCCT and Director, VAMNICOM. Pursuant to the said provision, the present Committee was constituted by DOAC on 11.9.2009 for two years. For “administration” of the Fund the following conditions apply :-
a) NCUI shall “maintain” the Fund in a separate account.
b) The Fund shall be utilized for the purpose connected with the Cooperative Education and HRD for cooperatives. The Committee may undertake the said programme through NCUI, NCCT, “contributing members” or “any other professionally qualified body” as the Committee may decide.
c) No expenditure out of the Fund shall be incurred without the approval of the Committee.
Section 70 (Chapter VIII) of the Act provides for provision for Audit and Inspection by a system to be enunciated by the Central Registrar.
6. NCUI has opened a separate account to maintain the fund. All the receipts and income by way of interest or otherwise accruing from the contribution are credited to this Fund. The application of Fund for education and training programmes, decided by the Committee is reflected in the Annual Account and Annual Report of NCUI placed before the Parliament, through DOAC every year.
7. Thus, for all practical purposes, the power to “administer” the fund, audit and inspection of NCUI (including the Fund) lies with Central Registrar and DOAC. All the expenditure incurred by NCUI has to have the approval of the Committee and is subject to audit and inspection. Therefore, the question of “hard earned money not being utilized properly” does not arise. NCUI is only “maintaining” the Fund as prescribed by the Committee.
8. IFFCO is the most successful cooperative in India and therefore, is rightly contributing to the Cooperative Education Fund as per provisions of the Act. During the last 4 years, IFFCO has contributed to the Fund as under :- .
For the Year Amount (Rs. in Crores)
2009-2010 Not received so far.
Therefore, the statement that IFFCO contributed about Rs. 4.5 crores last year (even in any year) is not borne out of facts. For the year 2009-10, no funds have been received so far. In any case, the contribution of IFFCO has ranged between 24 to 30% in these years. The balance has been contributed by other organizations. As per the statement, it may touch Rs. 10 crores (estimated) this year. If this materializes, NCUI would welcome it and have the potential and programmes to expend the same.
9. As already stated that all the expenditure incurred by NCUI, out of the Education Fund has the approval of the Committee. Therefore, “any talk of education fund diverted to renovate the guest house in NCUI and this has led to heart burning among the “contributors” seems to be nothing but figment of imagination. As a matter of fact, NCUI is maintaining the “hostel” in proper shape, which is part and parcel of education and training activities of NCUI/NCCE and not the “guest house” and no other contributor has raised this trivial issue.
10. It has been rightly pointed out that NCUI is the apex body of cooperatives and therefore, custodian of the fund “so far”. As a matter of fact, NCUI is charged with the responsibility of “maintaining” the Fund which means to keep it in proper and good condition or is the “custodian” as stated which means keeping it safe or guarding it, but the responsibility of “administering” or to direct or control it lies with the Central Registrar and DOAC. Since, the mandate of NCUI is education and training, it is not only obligatory but essential for them to maintain the Fund perpetually.
11. The insinuation that custody of the Fund should be shifted from NCUI to NCDC i.e. some neutral government agency or Dr. Saxena emphasized the need to have a government body like NCDC to take care of the Fund is illogical, untenable, much against the fundamental principles of cooperation and provisions of the Act sanctified by the Parliament.
12. As per Section 25 (5) of the Rules, the Committee is empowered to undertake the programmes of cooperative education and training and HRD through “NCUI”, “NCCT”, “contributing members” or “any other professionally qualified body”, as the Committee may decide. Ever since its establishment in 1929, NCUI has been the premier institution for organising cooperative education and training through a countrywide network right from village to national levels, built through decades of selfless service. No other institution has such an infrastructure. The contribution of NCUI is well recognized.
13. NCDC is a Statutory Corporation under DOAC and is basically a promotional and developmental financing institution. It has certain objectives to fulfil. It has its own modest set up of training of personnel of projects funded by it. There is a sea of difference between the objectives of the two organisations and therefore, the suggestion that custody of the Fund may be transferred to NCDC is ill-conceived and aimed at undermining or tarnishing the image of NCUI.
14. Such a move is against the fundamental principle of “Cooperation among Cooperatives” and self and mutual aid. To say the least, NCDC is not a” multi state cooperative” and NCUI no less a “professionally qualified body.” NCDC is also not a contributing member to the Fund.
15. IFFCO has been member of the Committee for 15 years and at no occasion this matter was raised by them. IFFCO is also in the Governing Council of NCUI and did not bother to raise this issue. Propriety demands that if they have any grouse or suggestion to make that can be done by directly taking up the matter with NCUI or raising the issue in the NCUI Governing Council Meeting(s). It is therefore, surmised that this is the personal opinion of Dr. Saxena and not the official stated position of IFFCO.
16.The sudden outburst of Dr. Saxena is just to spread a canard. The adoption of such extra territorial tactics may neither serve his interest and certainly not of the cooperative movement at large. There are other pressing issues which need collectively our attention. In our opinion, the matter of maintenance and administration of the Fund may be left in the care of time tested NCUI and thoughtfully crafted Committee of DOAC.