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co-operative notes -
February 13th, 2008
Ch1. Introduction to Co-operatives
"A co-operative is a user owned and user-controlled business
that distributes benefits on the basis of use”
The concept of co-operation and mutual help is not new to Indians, since ancient times Joint family system has been a practical ideology for Indians. Principles of co-operation are the find of Joint family system.
Co-operation is a movement of people. It is essentially an activity of the people for mutual help and collective progress.
Co-operation is an activity, where groups of people having common interests come together and work for mutual benefit. The groups can organize themselves to cater to diverse interests, from housing societies, to industrial production to co-operative credit to massive co-operative banks.
It is fundamental right of a citizen to form an association. At the same time voluntary membership is essence of Co-operation, Co-operative Society is not for earning profits. Beneficiaries are the members, who work together and share together.
Thus co-operation is a form of organization wherein persons voluntarily associate together on the basis of equality for the promotion of their social and economic growth.
Co-operation: Nature and Substance
The word co-operation is quite familiar to a common man. For him co-operation is simple working together in any sphere of human activity. In this sense, the roots of co-operation can be traced as far back as the beginning of human civilization. The modern biologist have claimed that co-operation are the group instinct in man which enabled him to live together, work together, and help one another in times of difficulty, has been biologically one of the most important and vital instincts.
It is true that some experts have highlighted man's progress in terms of aggression. However, we have also evidence available from the writings of great authorities like Propotkin who have stressed sociability to be as important a law of nature as mutual struggle. In his Mutual Aid, he asserts that, the human society has been sustained on the basis of mutual aid. H. G. Wells observed co-operative action in nature while Nietzsche felt that there was antagonism at the heart of the world. Broadly, on the basis of nature of things and course of development, one can certainly conclude that despite competitive struggle for existence among men, co-operation has contributed significantly as a force in the voluntary development of man. E. R. Bowell has rightly stated, "Co-operation is a universal instrument of creation”.
Both co-operation and competition have a role to play in the development of human society and civilisation. However, it would be still correct to conclude that co-operative forces have contributed to development much more substantially as a result of group life and group activity. Mill, in his book Principles of Political Economy (1876), has observed “Co-operation transforms human life from a conflict of class struggle for opposite interests to a fair rivalry in the pursuit of common good of all”.
Charles Gide considers co-operation as “An Economic system to supersede Capitalism by Mutual-Aid”.
Thus, attempts to explain the nature of co-operation can be noticed in the writings of eminent philosophers, economist, sociologist, etc. from the old times up to this date.
DefinitionThe International Labor Organization (ILO) points out that “A Co-operative Society is an association of persons, usually of limited means who have voluntarily joined together, to achieve a common end, through the formation of a democratically controlled business organization, making equitable contribution to the capital required, and accepting a fair share of risks and the benefits of the undertakings”.According to International Co-operative Alliance “A Co-operative is an autonomous association of persons united to meet their common, economic, social, cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned democratically controlled enterprise”.According to Lambert “A Co-operative Society is an enterprise formed and directed by an association of users, applying within itself the rules of democracy and directly intended to serve both its own members and community as a whole”.The Mac lagan Committee in India (1950) has defined co-operation as “The theory, which maintains that an isolated and powerless man can, by association with others and by moral development and mutual support, obtain to that extent the material advantage available to the wealthy and powerful persons and thereby develop himself to the fullest extent of his natural ability”. According to Vaikunthbhai L Mehta “Co-operation is only one aspect of a vast moment which promotes voluntary association of individuals having common needs to combine towards the achievement of common economic ends”According to Seliman “Co-operation in its technical sense means the abandonment of competition in distribution and production and elimination of middlemen”According to Talmak “Co-operation is an association of weak who gather together for a common economic end/need and try to uplift themselves and others out of weakness into strength through business organization conducted for the benefit of all who join it”According to George Jackob Holyoe “Co-operative touches no mans fortune, seeks no blunder, causes no disturbance in society, gives no trouble to the states man, it enters into secret associations and needs no trade unions to protect its interests. It contemplates no violence, accepts no gifts nor asks for any favor. It keeps no terms, with the ideal and it will break no faith with the industrial. It means self-help and self-dependence”Dr. C. R. Fay describes Co-operatives from Socio-Economic point of view “An association for the purpose of joint trading organization among the weak and conducted always in an unselfish spirit on such terms that all who are prepared to assume the duties of membership may share in its rewards in proportion to the degree in which they make use of their association”According to Dr. K. N. Katin “Co-operative is self-help as well as mutual help. It is a joint association or enterprise of those who are not financially strong and are unable to stand on their own and therefore come together not with a view to get profits but to overcome disability arising out of want of adequate financial resources and thus better their economic conditions”ConclusionBased on different definitions co-operative society is a voluntary and democratic association of persons with common economic need, working on the basis of equality, self-help and mutual help.
Special Features of Co-operative Movement in India
1. It is a voluntary organization. It is an association of persons (one person one vote)
2. It is democratic, every individual has a say in the co-operative society.
3. It is an undertaking
4. Less stress on Profits because the main objective is to meet common economic
ends through mutual help.
5. It is not based on Exploitation
6. There is no place for middlemen
7. Common objective of people
8. Concept of equality
9. Wider interest of Community
10. No outside interference
11. Each for every one (self help through mutual help)
1. An association of persons: Like a joint stock company a co-operative society is an association of many people who associate together, contribute capital in for of shares, but the basis trust is not on capital but on man.
2. A business enterprise: A co-operative society is not a charitable organization, but aims at business with a profit and risk.
3. A voluntary Enterprise: The admission and retirement of member in the society is completely voluntary.
4. Democratic Enterprise: With every member having a right to vote, irrespective of the number of shares he holds, lays the foundation of a democratic management.
5. The motto is to serve rather than to earn: Inspite of the fact that an element of profit is attached; the main aim is service, which is the prime objective of the co-operatives.
6. The key of co-op is mutual-help and self-help: With a slogan – Each for all and all for each.
7. This basis is equality and equity: The members of a co-operative are equal, irrespective of their differences in social, economic, political conditions. The most distinctive feature of a co-operative society is that the surplus or profit is distributed not according to the proposition of Business operations, transacted by members during a given period.
8. Socio-economic change: The co-operative movement aims in bringing about an overall socio-economic change then peaceful means.
9. Larger Perspective: It also aims at not only serving its members but also for the community at large.
Beneficiaries Of Co-Operation
Co-operation touches everyone’s life, directly or indirectly. The house you may be staying in or the shop you conduct your business from may be a co-operative society. The tea, which you drink, has sugar and milk in it, in all possibilities the sugar has come from a co-operative sugar factory and the milk from a Dairy Co-operative. The clothes that you wear may be from a co-operative Textile Mill.
Everybody needs co-operation; after all we need to co-operate to live!
Co-operation helps you to organize your own group. You can select the people with whom you wish to interact (this is, however, difficult in case of housing societies, where societies may be formed after everybody has acquired their houses).
Your group is regulated by regulatory machinery and is a legal entity. You can elect your office bearers and they are not only answerable to you but are also governed by the laws of co-operation.
Your group is protected by elaborate laws. You can grow economically by helping and co-operating with each other.
Relevance Of Co-Operation Today.. & Tomorrow!!
Our society has developed towards a more self reliant one. Therefore the factor of self-regulation is not far. Any civilized society thrives on self regulation as to be civilized is a self-chosen path.
Co-operation offers the solution for the times. A completely democratic set-up with laws, which border on moderation.
The Co-Operative Approach Implies:
Ø Treating people as origins of action, not as objects to be manipulated or serviced
Ø Encouraging people to work together and help one another solve mutual problems
Ø Designing useful structures, processes, products and services so as to meet people's needs rather than for profit-making purposes alone.
Ø Co-operation is a movement of people.
Ø It is essentially an activity of the people for mutual help and collective progress.
Ø Co-operation is an activity, where a group of people having common interests come, together and work for mutual benefit.
Ø The groups can organize themselves to cater to diverse interests, from housing societies, to industrial production to co-operative credit to massive co-operative banks.
Ø Co-operation helps you to organize your own group. You can select the people with whom you wish to interact (this is, however, difficult in case of housing societies, where societies may be formed after everybody has acquired their houses).
Various types of Co-operatives
1. Agricultural Credit Co-operative
The first co-operative legislation in respect to credit was the co-operative credit society act 1904. The society was then known as Agricultural Co-operative Credit Society, which engage themselves mainly in the disbursement of credit to their members, following the Reiffeisen pattern of organization.
Agricultural credit co-op Structure
1. Short term and medium term: It is basically a 3-tire system with primary credit society at village level, central co-operative banks at district level and also the state co-operative banks at the state level. (They are also the APEX banks)
2. The long-term agricultural co-operative structure: is of 2-tire. The primary co-operative land development bank at sub-divisional level and the state co-operative land development bank at state level.
3. Short term and medium term co-operative credit: It’s a 2-tire system with primary co-operative credit society at the village level affiliated to the district central co-operative bank which is also APEX co-operative bank.
1. A village is to be the limit for societies membership and area of operation.
2. Members must know each other personally and admit no new member whom they don’t trust.
3. The local members on voluntary basis carry out administration of the society.
4. Liability of members is unlimited.
5. All profits to be carried in the visible reserve fund.
6. Loans to be given to members for definite objectives.
Consumer Co-operative has its origin in the co-operative society formed by the 28 weavers in England in 1844. The movement gradually developed in European countries and became remarkably successful in Sweden, Denmark, Britain and Finland.
In Maharashtra the consumer movement began after the First World War mostly in urban areas.
1. To encourage the habit of thrift, self-help and co-operation amongst the members of the society.
2. To raise funds by the way of share capital, deposits, loans, donations and entrance fees.
3. To procure and produce by self or in partnership, consumer goods of daily use and undertake retailing of such goods among the members and other consumers.
4. To provide to the members such services as they may require as consumers.
5. To undertake processing of consumers goods and its distribution amongst its members and other consumers.
6. To try to improve the quality of goods produced by the society and to construct or purchase or obtain on hire godowns required for storing of goods.
7. To take effective measures to ensure price stabilization and supply of goods to the consumers at reasonable prices.
8. To undertake distribution or sale of essential commodities under the authority given by the state government or the local authority.
National Co-operative Consumer Federation (NCCF)
The National Co-operative Consumer Federation is the highest body of consumer co-operative in India. It was formed in the year 1966.Its headquarters are located in Delhi with branches in various cities such as Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkatta, Nagpur etc.
1. To help and guide state federations in their operations.
2. To act as the chief spokesman of consumer co-operative in India.
3. To procure and distribute consumer products such as:
a. Pulses, spices, food grains, tea and other agricultural goods.
b. Controlled cloth.
c. Non-controlled textiles and readymade garments.
d. Imported and confesticated goods.
The federation maintains a consultancy and promotional cell, which is entrusted with the responsibility of farming operational and business procedures, administrative norms etc. It also publishes a monthly news bulletin, which contains information on the market rates of goods supplied by the consumer co-operatives.
1. The consumer co-operative movement in India is government sponsored and initiated.
2. Consumers in India are indifferent to their own needs and still believe in the private trade system.
3. Consumer co-operatives are not well integrated and are scattered isolated.
4. The procurement and purchase operations are technically faulty.
5. They also face problems of low efficiency and low level of quality of products.
6. There is also intense competition from the private traders who create various problems for the consumer movement.
1. Primary Co-operative Society (Tolani College Co-operative)
2. Departmental Stores or Super Bazaars (Upna Bazaar, Sarkari Bhandar)
3. Central/Whole Sale Consumer Co-operative Stores
4. State Federations of Consumer Co-operative
5. National Co-operative Consumer Federation (NCCF Apex)
Consumer Retail Society & Progress
Consumer co-operatives (also known as retail societies) are trading organisations owned by their consumer members who are able to participate in the democratic structures of those organisations. Consumer co-operatives include the Co-operative stores.
The consumer retail co-operatives have become very important and have the backing of the general public. These societies are financially sound and are progressing day by day.
They basically supply food grains, cloth, home appliances etc. Some go beyond that and provide services like hair cutting, shoe repair etc. By the year 1977 there were 1,55,000, workers with a membership of more than 1.5 million and had a turnover of 2,713 million pounds. In 1963 North of England co-operative wholesale agency and depositor society was established with an objective that these consumer stores should help each other on purchasing the goods required by them. The representatives of all the consumer stores come together to form this society. The member of this society was open to all the society only with a democratic management and board of directors elected by the member society. The Board Of Directors was 30 in numbers with one ex-official and has tenure of 3 years. This society also manufactures goods and has its own subsidiary bank.
Reason of success of consumer co-operative movement
1. Strict implementation of principles of co-operatives
2. Co-ordinal actions with the manager and employees.
3. Linkage of banks with co-operative society so as to gets financial assistance without any difficulty.
4. Assistance of ladies in making the co-operative movement successful.
5. Development of co-operative movements in England was spontaneous and self-managed.
6. Co-operative stores used to Earmark part of the profits in reserve funds in case of financial crisis.
7. An able and efficient management was also one of the reasons for its success.
The co-operative society entered late in the agricultural sector. In 1867 the farmers established agriculture and horticulture society to purchase seeds, manure and other essentials for agriculture. The societies used to inspect the aids and then were given to the farmers, with the rising numbers. The society then started to manufacture eatables, began selling machinery for farming, petrochemicals and things required for veterinary purposes.
Some society under took the job of selling farm products, wood, animal etc, on behalf of the farmers. By 1977, the numbers of agriculture society was 500, Membership 3,32,000 and turnover of 1121 million pounds.
Dairy Co-operative Society
The milk producers at the village level form these types of societies.
1. They arrange for collection center and also provide the distribution network.
2. They distribute cattle feed to the milk producers and also provide veterinary services.
3. They arrange for processing of milk into milk products.
4. Research and Development activity are carried out by the society to improve the productivity rate.
1. To encourage co-operation and self-respect among the members.
2. To provide financial assistance to poor farmers to purchase cows and buffalos.
3. To arrange for the sale of milk and also to pay milk producers in coordination with various unions and federations.
4. To prepare and undertake necessary projects for dairy development in the area.
India today is the largest producer of milk in the world. This success is due to the “White Revolution” which was aimed to increase the milk production. NDDB spearheaded operations flood under the leadership of Dr. Vergese Kurien. He has developed the world famous Amul Brand which has proved one of the most successful milk co-operatives. Due to the success of operation flood, 1st government of India introduced operation flood and 2nd to undertake the activities such as:
1. To make arrangements for marketing of milk and milk products.
2. Provide technological support to the dairy industry.
3. Raise the hygiene standards of the cattle.
Indian Sugar Co-operative can be broadly classified into 2 sub sectors:
1. The organized sector e.g. Sugar Factories.
2. The unorganized sector e.g. Manufacture of Gur and Khandsari.
Out of the 453 sugar mills in the country, 252 are in the co-operative sector, 134 are in the private sector and 67 are in the public sector. The government of India has appointed for tariff board to examine the position of the sugar industry, due to this board the Indian Legislation passed the sugar industry protection act in 1932.
Sugar is controlled commodity in India. It is covered under the preview of the essential commodities act 1955. The government control sugar capacity editions through individual licensing, determines the price of the major input which is sugarcane, decides the quantity that can be sold in open market, fixes the prices of sugar etc. Government control is over all aspect of production and sale of sugar extends to the level of wholesalers need to obtain a license issued by the government before they can begin to operate.
1. De-zoning: The co-operative sugar industry was so far protected from competition from other sugar factories. Due to the policy of zoning which were compulsory for a farmer to sell and supply sugarcane to the prescribed factory within the zone of its field. This policy was dismantled in 1996-97 due to which the factories, which could not give better price to the farmers had to close down.
2. Shortage of Sugarcane: Many sugar factories are located in the main shadow region due to which there is a lack in sugarcane produced which leads to un-utilization of processing capacity.
3. High cost of water and electricity: The high cost of water and electricity increases the cost of production.
4. Huge financial loses: Due to improper irrigation facility, scanty or no rainfall result in huge financial loses. Also there are high loses due to improper storage facilities.
5. Corruption: Corruption is one of the major problems, which is faced by the co-operatives. The main concept of “Self help through Mutual help” is lost in corruption.
6. Political influence and interference: There is too much of political influence and interference in the co-operative society.
7. Problems of Trade Union: The trade unions come up with strikes and lockouts, which result in poor functioning of the co-operatives.
Food, clothing and shelter are the prime necessity of human beings. Housing is a significant concern of every individual. There is an acute problem or shortage of housing in India due to the following reasons:
1. Tremendous growth in population.
2. Migration of people from rural areas to urban areas.
3. Discontinuance of joint family system leading to requirement of separate house to each family unit.
4. Highly speculative trend in cost of land.
5. Hike in prices of building material resulting in increase in cost of house everyday.
Co-operative housing is a solution to the above given problems because it is a well-organized significant movement of the common men.
1. They are legally established associations of persons or members.
2. The members democratically control them.
3. Co-operatives societies provide for minimum required facilities like drinking water, tank water, waste disposal, sanitation, electricity, common car parking etc.
Three Tier System Of Co-operative Housing (State Level)
1. Primary Co-operative Housing Society
They are of 3 types as per the classification given in the Rule 10 of Maharashtra State Co-operative Society Act 1960. The sub-classification is on the basis of their objectives and activities. The 3 main types are as follows:
a. Tenant Ownership Housing Society
Housing society where the land is held either on leasehold or free hold basis by the societies the houses are owned by the members. Due to the ownership of land with the societies the members become tenants, but as they own the houses. This form is called as Tenant-Ownership.
b. Tenant Co-Partnership Housing Society
Housing society where land and buildings are held by the society and only the flats or shops are owned by the members. There is a partnership between the society and the members in the ownership of flat or shop or buildings.
c. Other Housing Society
Housing co-operative society not coming under the 2 above mentioned categories are included in other housing society.
E.g. House Mortgage Society, House Construction Society etc.
Constitution of Co-operative Housing Society
Every housing society is managed as per the byelaws of the society and the provisions in the co-operative act. Incase of primary co-operative housing society the below given points have to be covered in the byelaws.
1. Name and registered address of the society.
2. Raising of funds by way of entrance fees, share capital, loan, donations, deposits from member and contribution from the members for construction.
3. Membership (Eligibility Criteria, Minimum number of shares to be purchased, Maximum number of shares which an individual can purchase, rights of members etc.)
4. Share Capital (Denominations of shares, transfer of shares, refund of share capital etc.)
a. General Body Meetings
b. Managing Committee
6. Maintenance of record as per co-operative act.
7. Proper appropriation and distribution of profits.
Managing Committee (Functions)
1. Admission of members.
2. Transfer of shares.
3. Preparation of annual budget – the annual statement of accounts.
4. To raise funds for the working of the society.
5. Investment of surplus funds.
6. Supervision over staff.
7. Appointment of sub-committees.
8. To prepare draft amendments to byelaws.
9. To supply information to government, co-operative department, financing institution.
10. To arrange for election of next committee well in time.
District Level Housing Federation
It is a federal society and all types of co-operative housing society are eligible for its membership. They are affiliated to the federation and it is compulsory for primary co-operative housing society to become members of the district federations.
1. To give legal and technical guidance to the member society.
2. To help the proposed co-operative housing society in registration.
3. To help the co-operative housing society in getting approval of plans from Town planning department and completion certificate from municipal authority.
State Level Housing Co-operative Society
1. To guide the primary housing co-operative society in the state regarding legal, technical and management problems.
2. To help the housing societies in getting better building material at reasonable rates.
3. To coordinate the activities of primary and district level co-operative federations.
4. To undertake publicity and propaganda to promote organization of co-operative housing society.
5. To develop small housing complexes in the state.
National Co-operative Housing Federation (NCHF)
The National Co-operative Housing Federation (NCHF) was formed in the year 1969 as per the recommendations of a study group on co-operative housing. The state level and district level housing societies as well as the state level institution financing the housing societies can become a member of the National Co-operative Housing Federation (NCHF).
1. Publicity and propaganda of co-operative housing movement by publishing books, brochures etc.
2. To undertake research and development work for reduction in the construction cost.
3. To establish financial institution at state level to help the primary co-operative housing in getting loans at lower rate of interest.
4. To involve institution like LIC and other central level financing institution in the co-operative housing movement.
In Maharashtra the following institutions are active in helping the co-operative housing societies:
1. Maharashtra Housing Finance Co-operative Society.
2. Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC)
3. Housing And Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO)
4. Maharashtra Housing Area Development Authority (MHADA)
An industrial co-operative is an organization of workers and craftsmen engaged in the cottage/village industries or other small-scale industries to undertake production, purchase of supplies and raw materials, marketing of products and supply other services to the members.
Aims and Objectives
Industrial co-operatives have 2 main aims:
1. Social Aim: Social Aim is to safeguard workers interest and to protect them from exploitation by the capitalist and the traders. Thus the social aim is to render services to the members as well as the society.
2. Economic Aim: The second aim is Economical, which focuses mainly on creation of employment. There is lot of disguised unemployment and many layoff stages for the worker in a year. This spare time can be made productive due to the industrial co-operatives.
1. To develop self-reliance, co-operation and self-respect among the members.
2. To purchase and supply raw materials, tools and equipments needed by the workers.
3. To obtain contracts from the government and other organization.
4. To purchase machinery and other equipments required by members and to hire them to the members for quality production.
5. To grant advances if needed by member workers against the securities of raw materials and finished products.
6. To construct take on rents godowns for storage of finished products and raw materials.
7. To undertake all such activities needed for the welfare and well being of the member and the society.
Kinds of Industrial Co-operatives
1. Workers co-operatives
2. Palm and gur society
3. Handicraft society
4. Leather co-operative
5. Other industrial co-operative
NFIC was established in the year 1966 with the objective of studying industrial co-operatives in relation to the problems they face and to suggest solutions. The NFIC also plays a major role in formulating and implementing programs relating to the development of industrial co-operatives. It also undertakes import, purchase and distribution of raw materials, equipments and components to the industrial co-operatives. It also helps in rendering marketing services to the members. The head quarters of NFIC is situated in New Delhi.
Problems of Industrial Co-operatives
1. Problem of Human Resource: Most industrial co-operatives are situated in rural areas and also are scattered all over the country. They are financially weak and thus it is not possible for them to appoint trained personnel to look after the management, thus they have to manage with unskilled and inefficient staff, which leads to detoriation in quality.
2. Problem of Finance
3. Problem of production
4. Problem of Marketing
5. Lack of proper planning
6. Lack of audit controls
7. Vested interest
8. Lack of loyalty of members
9. Inadequate supervision and inspection
10. Lack of support from higher institution
11. Lack of member education
Types of Industrial Co-operative Societies
1. Industrial Production Society: Under the production co-operatives the societies undertake production of goods in their workshops by employing member workers. Eg. The Bhavani Metal Industrial Co-operative Society located at Gulkekadi in Pune City. The workers in the society are paid wages on daily basis while the entire responsibility of production and marketing is undertaken by the society.
2. Industrial service co-operative society: In this type the production activities such as providing raw materials, handling of tools and equipments, technical guidance are done by the members. In certain societies even the marketing of products are done by the members.
3. Common facility workshop society: Certain industrial co-operatives have established common facility workshop for the use of their members. The members produce the goods and make use of the workshop for finishing work and other technical work. They have to pay a rent for the use of the facility. E.g. the Hupari Silver Workers Co-operative Society in Kholapur district.
These are businesses that are owned exclusively by the employees. Some are set up as new ventures, some are conversions from existing businesses, and others are viable replacements for failed companies.
Social responsibility and concern for the community are fundamental co-operative values. Many organisations that provide care for elderly, ill or disabled people, child care or other beneficial local services choose a co-operative structure that allows employees, clients and community representatives to become members.
Often groups of self-employed people or businesses can benefit from sharing facilities, equipment or marketing costs. A co-operative provides the ideal legal framework for this. Example of secondary co-operatives includes taxi drivers.
These are financial co-operatives that are directly owned and controlled by their members, who are the savers and borrowers. Most credit unions have a community common bond, which means that they serve a specific geographic area. Some credit unions are based at the member’s place of work and therefore have a workplace common bond.