In line with the 97th amendment of the Constitution, the State government has decided to amend the Karnataka Cooperative Societies Act, 1959, in the coming legislature session in Belgaum, to provide representation to other backward classes (OBC) in the Board of Directors of cooperative societies and cooperative banks.

Addressing presspersons here on Tuesday, Minister for Cooperation B.J. Puttaswamy said there was no quota for OBC candidates in cooperative institutions in the State. To ensure adequate representation to OBC candidates, the Act would be amended, he said.

Other objectives of the amendment would be making mandatory the holding of a general body meeting by cooperatives once a year, preparation of audit reports once in six months, and ensuring polls in a free and transparent manner, he said.

The cooperative banks and societies have been directed to grant 25 per cent of the total loans to new members.

In the first five months of 2012-13, Rs. 2,346 crore was disbursed to 8,37,350 farmers in the State. Nearly 90.3 per cent of borrowers were small and marginal farmers.

The government has set a target to disburse crop loans of Rs. 6,400 crore at subsidised interest rates to 19.18 lakh farmers in 2012-13.

To a question on the progress of a departmental probe into irregularities conducted by various private housing societies in the State, he said a review of the progress in Bangalore and Mysore divisions have been ordered and officials have been told to file criminal cases against persons who are found to have indulged in irregularities.

He would review the role of housing societies of Belgaum and Gulbarga divisions on November 23 and 30, respectively. A final report on irregularities would be made public in a few months, Mr. Puttaswamy said.

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