Over a judicious use of Education Fund, National Cooperative Union of India (NCUI) and the largest farmers’ cooperative IFFCO are once again at loggerheads. The Education Fund Committee that met sometime back diverted a sum of Rs 2 crore for the purpose of renovating the auditorium which hosts most of cooperative as well as non-cooperative functions.
IFFCO dissented and said that cooperative education fund, as the name shows, should be used for education and training and not for any other purpose, no matter how important.
Talking to Indiancooperative.com, Dr G N Saxena, Director of cooperative Development at Iffco animatedly argued that two proposals were before the Committee- one of starting the printing press lying in a shambles for some time and second, of renovating the auditorium.
While the first proposal was rejected outright, the second was discussed threadbare. I, being a member of the Committee objected to the idea of diverting a sum from Education Fund. Mr R K Tiwary, Central Registrar is also believed to have opposed the idea.
But Financial Advisor Mr Agnihotri, one of the two government nominees other than the Central Registrar is said to have supported the idea of diverting money to renovation.
Talking to the Indiancooperative.com Dr Dinesh, Chief Executive and DG of NCCT defended the decision of Committee and said that the auditorium is very much a part of education and training and given its bad condition, something needed to be done urgently. The air conditioners, chairs and other facilities cry for immediate attention, he added.
But Dr Saxena differed. “The auditorium is given on lease to a private party and it is using it for commercial purposes. How can the Education Fund which is being contributed by farmers in a way, be diverted for commercial gains of a third party”, he asked?
In the seven member Education Committee, NCUI has a majority and could get its agenda passed. The members from NCUI are President, DG of NCCT and head of Vaikunth Mehta, say insiders.
There are two members from Multi State Cooperative Societies and they are Iffco and Saraswat Bank. Due to medical problems, Saraswat Bank Chairman Eknath Thakur could not make it to the meeting.
There are two government nominees-the Central Registrar and the Financial Advisor. With the government nominees more often than not being absent, it is cakewalk for NCUI, said a source. However, both the govt nominees were present in the last meeting. These are quarterly meetings.
A cash-starved NCUI has more than Rs 330 crore lying in the Education Fund and the issue of diversion of fund keeps cropping once in a while.