Staff Reporter

Membership fee reduced drastically

NEW DELHI: In a major bonanza for lakhs of people living in flats or apartments in cooperative group housing societies with General Power of Attorney (GPA) ownership, the Delhi Government has decided to allow GPA holders to become active members of the society with voting rights. Also, the fee for getting membership has been drastically reduced from Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 500 per member.

In an attempt to bring about financial accountability and check the arbitrary functioning of the societies, the Government has also made another additional provision in the recently amended Delhi Cooperative Societies (Amendment) Bill 2006, that states that any society that has not held audit of its accounts or has failed to convene the meeting of the general body for five years in a row would face dissolution under the law.

"Provided that in the case of a cooperative society which has not conducted audit or annual general body meeting for five consecutive years or has no fixed assets and outside liabilities excluding share money of the members, such society shall be deemed to have been dissolved and shall cease to exist as a cooperative body after the expiry of the said period of five years," the amendment states. Similarly the amendment makes it very clear that if the cooperative society is dissolved or has become defunct, its representatives will not have voting rights in the affairs of the society or its financial banking.

"We have tried to simplify matters and make acquisition of membership for the GPA holders very easy with nominal charges. In majority of the societies, the original members have either sold their premises or have migrated to some other place but continue to be active members while the GPA members despite being in majority do not have any voting right. This new amendment will undo this wrong of the past and things are likely to work smoothly," said Cooperatives and Development Minister Raj Kumar Chauhan.

In another interesting but landmark amendment, the membership fee for the GPA holders to become regular members of the society has been revised downwards. The charges have been brought down from Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 500. The amendment reads: "The purchaser having registered GPA or registered agreement for sale or registered sale deed as the case may be, in respect of such a plot or flat, may apply for membership by paying transfer fee of Rs. 5,000 and share money and admission fee as per the provisions of the bye-laws of the society and the committee shall grant membership to the applicant within 30 days after the submission of his application. In case of refusal by the committee, the applicant may appeal to the Registrar of Cooperative Societies within 30 days and his decision shall be final".