August 1: Kuleshwar-based Gautam Shree Multipurpose Cooperative has become problematic as it is unable to return the amount saved by its customers.
People who had deposited their savings filed a complaint at the Department of Cooperatives on Sunday seeking action against the cooperative after its chairman Ram Bahadur Gautam went out of contact.
Following the complaint, the department has issued a notice to concerned bodies to halt the transactions of the cooperative as well as departmental store run by the cooperative along with all its moveable and non-moveable assets. The department has also issued an order to freeze the bank account of the cooperative.
“We have requested the police to halt the sale of assets of the company. We have also sought the help from police to bring other board members of the cooperative for questioning,” said Rudra Prasad Pandit, registrar of the department.
“We will recommend for further action based upon the complaint filed by the victims,” he added.
As per the Cooperatives Act 2077, the cooperatives that fail to return the savings of the customers will be declared problematic by the Ministry of Land Management, Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation and sent to the Problematic Cooperative Management Committee for settlement of liabilities.
The department informed that further action will be taken only after conducting detailed study about the complaint and after discussing the issue with the board members of the cooperatives.
Prior to this, the government had declared around a dozen cooperatives, including Oriental Cooperative, as problematic but the committee has not been able to settle the liabilities of any of the problematic cooperatives.
After the operator of Gautam Shree Multipurpose Cooperative went out of contact, Everest Bank has already sealed the building owned by the cooperative.
The bank has also invested in the private residence and other businesses of Chairman Gautam.
Everest Bank has issued a notice about sealing the property at the building.
The government is unaware about the transactions of the cooperative because it has not held its annual general meeting since a long time and has also failed to submit its report to the department.
Members of the cooperative have alleged that Gautam used the deposits of the cooperative in financing his private business and housing. Gautam has been operating Gautam Shree Departmental Store as well as dairy and a cow farm in Kavre.He is also actively involved in importing machineries from abroad.
Of late, cooperatives are facing problems due to liquidity crisis. They are under pressure after Banks and Financial Institutions stopped credit flow to the cooperatives. Due to this reason, may cooperatives are unable to return the savings of the customers.