In India, Co-operative Societies were regarded as ideal instruments to motivate the people to come together and help themselves in the process of eliminating the unscrupulous middlemen making huge profit at the expense of the society. The Cooperative Credit Societies Act, 1904 enabled formation of cooperatives for supplying to farmers cheap credit and protect them from exploitation in the hands of moneylenders. The Cooperative Societies Act, 1912 expanded the sphere of cooperation and provided for supervision by central organization. A cooperative society, which has its object the promotion of the economic interests of its members in accordance with the co-operative principles may be registered with limited or unlimited liability by filing application accompanied by copy of its byelaws and signed by at least 10 adult members of the same locality, class, caste, tribe or occupation (Sec.4 to 9).
The controlling provisions include Registrar’s power of holding inquiry into the constitution, working and financial conditions of the society, inspection of books of indebted society, dissolution of the defunct society, cancellation of registration of society whose membership falls below 10, and winding up of the society through liquidator (Sec. 35, 36, 39, 40 and 42). The legislation is in force even today inUnionTerritoriesand is invoked by the Central Government.
A co-operative society has been formed behind the following broad objectives.
- To render services to its members instead of making profits.
- It encourages a state mutual help in the place of competition.
- It assures a state of self-help in the place of dependence.
- It develops a state of moral solidarity in the place of unfair business activities.
- Unlike other retailers, cooperative stores supply quality goods. Consumers are thus saved from adulteration and other malpractices.
- As consumers are the owners and managers of such stores, genuine requirements of the majority of consumers can be met. In other words, goods required by a majority of the customers are always dealt by such stores.
- Cooperative societies are an important form of democratic business enterprise because of its diffused ownership. As a result, no single group can secure control over the organisation.
- It caters to the needs of small and medium-income groups.
- There is too much dependence on the honesty, integrity and loyalty of members and workers.
- There is lack of proper sales promotion drives by the sales force of these stores.
- Management of such stores usually rests in the hands of amateurs. Professional managers cannot be hired due to lack of funds.
Documents required for a Co- Operate Society:
- Model bye-laws (4 copies)
- Enquiry Performa
- List of promoter members.
- Copy of promotional meeting resolution resolving name of the society, value of share money, admission fees, liabilities, total number of members of managing committee, annual submission fees etc.