May 17: The government is preparing to make it mandatory for co-operatives to join the Co-operative and Poverty Management Information System (CoPoMIS). In order to manage the records and regulation of co-operatives, arrangements are being made to facilitate the reporting to the regulatory body through online based software.
The government launched the online-based software CoPoMIS five years ago. It covers everything from registration of co-operative to online monitoring. The Federal Department of Co-operatives is about to make it mandatory as only a few organizations have joined it during this period.
Registrar of the department Rudra Prasad Pandit informed that affiliation to CoPoMIS is being made mandatory so that various services provided by the government would be available to the users. He said, “We are going to make affiliation to CoPoMIS mandatory even for the certificate of tax payment from the subsidy given by the government to the co-operatives. Discussions are being held with the concerned bodies regarding this matter.”
The Ministry of Land Reforms and Poverty Alleviation started implementation of CoPoMIS from April 2017. But due to technical problems seen in the software and lack of interest among the users, it could not be implemented effectively.
With the implementation of federalism, the implementation of CoPoMIS became further challenging.
According to the Federal Department, out of 29,000 co-operatives across the country, only 38 percent (11,000) co-operatives have so far taken usernames and passwords for using CoPoMIS. Most of the co-operatives who own passwords do not update data regularly. According to the department, only 7,421 people have logged in to the software at least once. Similarly, the details of 1,668,929 members are updated in the system by just 3,903 co-operatives regularly submitting information to CoPoMIS. The co-operatives are not willing to use the software due to technical problems and lack of transparency.
Although the department has given the user ID and password of CoPoMIS to the states and municipalities, they have not given priority to its use and implementation among the co-operatives under their jurisdiction. According to the department, only 263 municipalities have logged in to the software.
Article 29 of the Co-operatives Act 2074 stipulates that a co-operative dealing with more than Rs 50 million must be affiliated to the CoPoMIS within one year and less than Rs 50 million within 3 years. The department has not taken any action against any co-operative even though the law states that the registrar can impose a fine of up to Rs 300,000 for violating the law.
Registrar Pandit said that the plan is to get the co-operatives to join the system by encouraging them rather than by imposing fines on them. He said, “In the first phase, we are planning to encourage them to join. We will only take action against those who do not join even after that.” The department plans to provide conditional grants from the upcoming budget to attract the local level as well.
Although the registration and monitoring rights are now transferred to the local level, the management of the co-operatives is becoming chaotic due to lack of effective monitoring. As a result, public deposits in co-operatives are also at risk.