The office of Central Registrar is at a loss as to how to tackle the crisis arising out of Covid 19 and to help it find a solution it called a virtual meeting of several cooperative representatives on Monday.
The crisis is indeed unprecedented as the cut-off date of AGMs for multistate co-ops, which is September 30, is fast approaching. The target to get elections conducted on the schedule for many of the multistate societies is another big challenge before it.
The virtual meeting which was attended by NCUI, Sahakar Bharati and some individual co-operators such as Ashok Dabas put forth their opinions before the Central Registrar. While Registrar Vivek Agrawal is expected to come up with a solution about AGMs in a couple of days it would not be easy for him to find a solution for maintaining the election schedule, sources add.
Most of the co-op bodies opined that the AGM cut-off date should be extended to the end of the year as has been done by the other federal regulatory bodies including Companies Act or Income Tax dept.
The apex body NCUI has already written a letter on behalf of multistate co-ops spread across the country seeking an extension for three months, said its Chief Executive N Satyanarayan.
The issue of holding the AGM on virtual platform AGM was also debated and co-operative representatives cited the example of Corporates in this regard. The Central Registrar sounded open to accepting the idea, one of the attendees said to Indian Cooperative.
The issue of election, however,is more ticklish as it involves e-ballots and a fool proof system to maintain both transparency and secrecy as the case may be. Elections are also a long-drawn process which cannot be completed in one fell swoop, say experts.
The finalization of voter list, claiming dues from members, filing nominations, withdrawal of nomination, publication of successful nomination and finally the voting are some such steps which are essential on one hand and tough to achieve through virtual means on the other.
It is being said that the Central Registrar may have to seek the expertise of govt Information Technology dept to achieve this goal, that too when they confirm that it is doable through virtual means.
For many multistate co-ops from the states,the Central Registrar has already decided to follow in the footsteps of the state registrars. In case of Campco the Central Registrar decided to follow the state Government of Karnataka which has postponed elections of State Cooperative societies/ Cooperative Banks till further orders. It asked Campco to keep a close watch on the developments and revert to this office by the end of August, 2020 with a proposed plan.