While co-op organizations in the country are busy holding their AGMs, the apex consumer co-op body in the country NCCF has no such luck. Mired in a host of court cases, the consumer co-op is struggling to form a committee to run its affairs. The crucial hearing in the nature and composition of the Committee was slated for September 12 but the it was adjourned for a much later date after a couple of months.
While the Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan loses no chance to quote Nafed and NCCF as the agencies which can tackle rising onion prices, his ministry’s indifference has almost paralyzed NCCF operations.
Earlier, the Delhi High Court ordered formation of a Committee to oversee NCCF’s day to day affairs till the judgement in the pending cases are pronounced. But the Ministry objected to membership of former Chairman Bijender Singh in the said Committee and went back to the court.
The matter now before a double bench was again sent back as the extended bench refused to interfere in the matter and asked the earlier bench to decide on the issue. Cutting out the confusion the Bench has ordered formation of a committee with a retired High Court judge as its Chairman and two retired Secretaries of the GOI as its members. It has also stipulated one member each from the Ministry and NCCF as Advisors without having any voting rights.
Bijender Singh, the man being hated by the Ministry is going to be NCCF choice for the Advisor of the co-op body, sources said. “Even as Advisor I would bring before the Committee the burning issues that call for urgent attention as nobody knows the affairs of NCCF as much as we from the office know”, said Bijender to Indian Cooperative.
Singh also listed the issues like appointment of Auditor Panel, audit of accounts or the schedule for the announcement of the elections. Singh also said how heroically cooperators have, for a change, fought in the case of ministerial and Babus’ diktat in the case of NCCF.
Earlier, the co-op boards would usually pack up as soon as the govt would send a notice under Section 122 of MSCS Act. They sent three notices under Section 122 and finally even one under Section 123 but we succeeded in securing stay from the High Court every time, said Bijender stressing on the need for co-operatives to fight off unnecessary governmental interference.
Meanwhile, the business activities of NCCF has nosedived as its different branch offices spread across the states are in a state of doldrum due to the fight at the top. To add salt to the injury it is being alleged that the govt has written to state govts asking them not to do business with NCCF!