An agro-industrial economy like that of India with her emphasis on socio-economic change has a vast scope for the organisation and development of co-operative activity. The lead in this behalf is provided by the Co-operative department of the Government. The activities of the Co-operative department extend to the fields of rural finance, agricultural marketing, industrial co-operatives and money-lending business in the district. All these activities are governed under the Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act, 1961.
With the formation of the Zilla Parishad, Co-operation has come under the dual control of the Zilla Parishad and the State Government. The Co-operative department of the Zilla Parishad is
responsible for the registration, organisation, supervision, inspection, etc. of all types of co-operatives in rural areas, having authorised share capital upto Rs. 50,000 or working capital upto Rs. 5 lakhs. It has also to control and supervise all regulated markets. All other schemes are looked after by the department in the State sector.
The department at the State level is headed by the Registrar of Co-operative Societies. At the divisional level is the Divisional Joint Registrar who is generally assisted by a Divisional Deputy Registrar and three Divisional Assistant Registrars. The Divisional Special Auditor is in charge of the audit section.
In the State Sector, Dhulia district is placed in charge of the
District Deputy Registrar of Co-operative Societies, Dhulia,
a class I officer of the Maharashtra Co-operative Service. He is
assisted by two Assistant Registrars whose jurisdictions extend over
areas specified by the District Deputy Registrar after taking
into account the actual work load. Under the Assistant Registrars
are the Co-operative Officers, Assistant Co-operative Officers, Supervisors and other ministerial staff who assist in the execution of field
duties. The Assistant Registrars enjoy all the powers under the
Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act, 1961, except those under;
Sections 64 and 64-A of the former Act of 1925 which has been
replaced by the Act of 1961. They also act as Assistant Registrars
of Money Lenders within their respective jurisdictions.
The field staff consists of six Co-operative Officers, four Assistant
Co-operative Officers and two Industrial Supervisors who are mainly
responsible for organisation of co-operative societies, developments
of the co-operative movement and supervision over all types of co-operative societies in rural and semi-rural areas.
The co-ordination of the departmental activities at the district level is done by the District Deputy Registrar of Co-operative Societies, who ensures the internal co-ordination of the field responsibilities performed by the Assistant Registrars and field staff.
The supervisory staff serves as the last link in the administrative
machinery. Their main responsibility is confined to detailed supervision over the working of all agricultural credit, sewa and multipurpose societies. They are expected to inspect every society under
their charge at least once in three months. There are, at present
24 Supervisors working in the district. They are under the control
and direction of the District Supervising Committee.
District Supervising Committee.
The District Supervising Committee is an ad hoc body which has
taken up the task of appointment and allotment of work to the supervising unions. It works as a link between the taluka (Block) supervising unions and the State Board of Supervision. The Committe
recommends disciplinary action, whenever necessary, against the
Supervisors and also takes periodical reviews on the working of the
supervising unions and the Supervisors.
District Co-operative Board.
Education and training in co-operation and propaganda for the spread of the co-operative movement are carried out by the District Co-operative Board under the guidance of the Maharashtra State Cooperative Union. The membership of the Board is of two classes, viz., ordinary, consisting of all co-operative societies in the district, and associate consisting of individuals. A nominee of the financing
agency (The Dhulia District Central Co-operative Bank Ltd.,
Dhulia), the District Deputy Registrar and the Executive Officer of the Maharashtra State Co-operative Union are ex-officio members of the Board.
Section 81 of the Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act. 1961,
provides for statutory audit of every society at least once in a year
by the Registrar of Co-operative Societies or by persons authorised
by him. The audit staff in the district works under the control of
the Divisional Special Auditor, Co-operative Societies, Bombay
The work of organisation of industrial co-operatives has, since the formation of the Zilla Parishad, been transferred to it and the Block Development Officers and the Extension Officers look after this work. The services of Industrial Supervisors and Stamping Inspectors are also placed at their disposal.
The salient features of the Bombay Money-lenders Act (XXXI of 1946) are licensing of money-lenders, maintenance of accounts by money-lenders in prescribed forms and restrictions on rates of interest.
The Divisional Joint Registrar of Co-operative Societies. Bombay works as the Divisional Registrar of Money-lenders. The two Assistant Registrars of Co-operative Societies in the district work as Assistant Registrars of Money-lenders in their respective jurisdictions while the District Deputy Registrar of Co-operative Societies works as Registrar of Money-lenders in the district and issues licences to the money-lenders and is responsible for the administration of the Bombay Money-lenders Act. The Co-operative Officers have to work in dual capacity both as Co-operative Officers and Inspectors of Money-lenders.
The co-operative movement in Dhulia district is developed more or less on progressive lines. The Maharashtra State Co-operative Union which is recognised as the sole agency for imparting co-operative training to officials and non-officials throughout the State has established Regional Co-operative Schools at Poona, Jalgaon, Kolhapur, Nasik and Ahmadnagar. They impart training in co-operation to the employees of the Co-operative department and institutions, supervisors, bank inspectors and secretaries of multi-purpose and taluka purchase and sale unions.
The supervising union is formed for every taluka by the societies registered in the area. All agricultural credit societies and other societies are eligible for membership of these unions. The main functions of the supervising unions are (i) to advise, guide, assist,
rectify and control the constituent societies by efficient and regular supervision and (ii) to provide means of assessing the credit of each of the constituent societies and to make recommendations in this behalf to the financing agency. The supervisors of the area act as secretaries of the unions. There are 10 such unions in the district with 901 agricultural credit, seva and multipurpose societies affiliated to them.
Banking and credit facilities to co-operatives in Dhulia district are provided mainly by the Dhulia District Central Co-operative
Bank and Dhulia District Co-operative Land Development Bank.
The District Central Co-operative Bank is the central financing
agency of the district for all types of societies in respect of their
short and medium term requirements. The Government have
contributed Rs. 20 lakhs towards its share capital. In order to make
co-operative credit cheap to the ultimate borrowers and to develop
banking practices in rural areas, the bank has opened 32 branches
in the district. The District Co-operative Land Development Bank
makes long-term credit available to the agriculturists towards land
improvement of permanent nature.
Dhulia District District Co-operative Milk Union.
Another feature of the district in co-operative sector is the Dhulia Co-operative The Union which was registered in 1959 had started with 11 primary feeder societies and 45 individuals as its members. The number of primary feeder societies has increased to 135 and that of individuals to 250. Inspite of favourable geographical condition of the district for promotion of dairy industry the Union could not make appreciable progress till the establishment of the Government Milk Scheme at Dhulia in 1962. This gave an impetus to the Union for developing the dairy industry. Although the area of the operation of the Union extends over the entire district, it has concentrated on the development of dairy activity in the villages around Dhulia town. Government have also loaded over Rs. 17 lakhs to the Union to enable the feeder societies to purchase milch animals for increasing milk supply to Government Milk Scheme. This financial assistance met with good response from the Union as the daily milk supply had increased to 10,000 litres in 1964-65. The organised dairy industry has provided a good subsidiary occupation to the agricultural community of the district.