People's Review Weekly

Problemati­c Cooperativ­es, victims, and government

- BY NARAYAN PRASAD MISHRA The writer can be reached at narayansha­ The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessaril­y reflect People’s Review’s editorial stance.

Many cooperativ­e organizati­ons establishe­d under the cooperativ­e system in the country functioned as only financial organizati­ons with banks doing only saving and credit work by collecting savings and fixed deposits and loaning them. People took them as banks and deposited billions of rupees in these places. Even the deposited money was loaned only to the cooperativ­e operators and their relatives, generally without any collateral­s or, in some cases, with significan­tly less collateral value than the money loaned. All these things were against the cooperativ­e system. Firstly, they did not work as a cooperativ­e organizati­on for the benefit of all cooperativ­e members. All the deposited money was used for the businesses and industries of cooperativ­e operators— buying land, making residentia­l houses, erecting huge business houses, private hospitals, etc. Secondly, when they took loans from their savings and credit cooperativ­es, they took them without collateral, which was against the loaning system and norm of the bank or financial organizati­ons. They did not pay the loan as if it were their private property. On the other hand, the government offices and units that were supposed to look after all these wrongdoing­s did not give due attention to controllin­g them. Consequent­ly, the hundreds of cooperativ­e operators, like Civil Savings and Credit, Oriental, Shiva Shikhar Multipurpo­se, Tulsi Multipurpo­se, etc., misused the depositor's money. They put lakhs of people into the problem by not paying their deposited money and interest. People then protested. At last, on August 4, 2023, a sevenpoint memorandum of understand­ing (MOU) was signed between the government and cooperativ­e victims. By giving due attention to the victim's demands and understand­ing, the Cooperativ­e Sector Reform Suggestion Taskforce formed on May 9, 2024, submitted its report to Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal on September 12, 2023, according to Gokarna Mani Duwadi, Secretary at the Ministry of Land Management, Cooperativ­es, and Poverty Alleviatio­n. Now, the government seems to be paying serious attention to solving the cooperativ­e victim's problem. On September 11, 2023, the government declared the Civil Savings and Credit Cooperativ­e problemati­c. After that, it declared Shiva Shikhar Multipurpo­se, Tulsi Multipurpo­se, etc., problemati­c. The number is increasing day by day.

I do not know how the government will act against the declared problemati­c cooperativ­e

organizati­on regarding the victim's deposited money and interest. According to the news report, the government will take control of all of them, sell the property— land, houses, business buildings, industries, or any other assets owned by the cooperativ­e operators and their close relatives—and deposit the money in some account opened for that purpose. At the same time, they find out and bring under the government's jurisdicti­on their hidden property—cash or kind—and deposit it into the same account. After that, the government will pay the victim's depositors money by the end of the Nepali year 2080 (April 12, 2024). The cooperativ­e organizati­ons that failed to pay back the depositors should pay them even by transformi­ng the other sectors' investment­s and fixed assets of the founders, according to the news of RSS dated September 15, 2023. We undoubtedl­y

must welcome the government's above actions and decisions. However, there may be some problems again if the officials of the office created for doing the task mentioned above are not honest and sincere in doing their job. They may sell the assets not getting the proper value, getting the bribe money under the table. Similarly, they may close their eyes not to see the hidden property and assets of the cooperativ­e operators, their relatives, and friends. They may shake hands with cooperativ­e operators privately to save them in different ways for personal gains. If they do that, they might show the amount received only half or even less than we think it should be. Suppose the operator of a Civil Cooperativ­e has an asset value of Rs 20 billion; the officials might show only 10 billion instead of 20 billion by cheating the cooperativ­e operators and victims. If they do that, we will be cheated again. We all must be

cautious about it and watchful.

Ichha Raj Tamang, the leading operator of the Civil Saving and Credit Cooperativ­e, would undoubtedl­y get his maximum value if he sold the property he created with his knowledge, sweat, and labor. I just cannot think why he is still not interested in paying the depositors money according to the court decision and getting his assets back so that he will gain rather than lose. I just wonder why he cannot have an honest understand­ing and agreement with his cooperativ­e victims to pay their money instead of suffering himself without peace of mind while living in jail. I vividly remember the letter I wrote him in Nepali on May 26, 2021, with honest love and goodwill towards him when the news was published about his wrongdoing­s and the suffering of the Civil victims. That was before he was arrested and imprisoned. I still think he is wise and can do what is best for himself and the Civil Cooperativ­e Victims. I hope he will bring the Civil Cooperativ­e out of the clutches of the problemati­c net by paying the depositors money by some means. I pray he can mend his mistakes and establish his beautiful and peaceful life with a good name and fame. According to Rigel Dawson, an American author of the book Dad Most High, "We should learn to deal with people for who they are, not who we want them to be. Life gets a lot easier when we stop expecting apple juice from oranges." I. R. Tamang will not become an orange for my expectatio­n of Apple Juice. In this context, I sincerely think he will not be different from my expectatio­ns and present himself as honest and righteous. I also hope his advisors, well-wishers, and henchmen will advise him honestly to solve the problem for the benefit of the cooperativ­e operators and its victims instead of creating a bad plot and conspiracy that cannot solve it amicably. >L tfdfªhL, tkfO{nfO{ d Ps OdfGbf/, ; BL, bfgL, /fd|f] lbnsf], lzi6, d[b'eflif,;kmn pBf] uL, Jofkf/L sf]?kdf lnGy]. lnG5' . tkfO{sf] of] /fd|f] lrq ;xsf/Lsf] */ ( ca{ ?lkof eGbf d]/f] nflu w]/} d"n\ ojfg 5.;fobtkfO{sf] nflu klg x'g' k5{ . t/ cfh ;xsf/Lsf lkl8t l8kf] lh6/x¿df tkfO{, cfkmg\ f] cdN" o gfd eGbf ?ko+} f k;} fsf] nflu h:tf] ;'s} kfk sd{ klg ug{ ;Sg] Ps lgGbgLo JolQmsf] ¿kdf ljlqt 5 . of] s;/L x'g uof] < eujfg hfg"g . tkfO{ o:tf] x'g kb{}g . z/L/ 5f]8\bf tkfO{ / tkfO{sf] cfkmGtn] af]sL hfg ;Sg] of] /sd xf]Og . of] ;+;f/df ;'v ef] u ug{ klg klg h¿/ klg oltsf] /sd tkfO{nfO{ cfjZos kb{}g. o;}n] lhpFb} dgdf @$ ;f} 306f dgdf zflGt gx'g] ;d:of / emd]nfsf] e"d/Ldf cfkm" kg{' / c?nfO{ ?jfg'sf] tkfO{sf] s]xL g s] xL jfWotf h¿/ x'g'k5{ h:tf] dnfO{ nflu/xG5 .

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May 26, 2021 (A letter written to I. R. Tamang in Nepali on

May 21, 2021 ) Ours is a mysterious country. In writing, we write all beautiful things. We form commission­s and committees to solve the problems, and they give good suggestion­s and recommenda­tions. We also make excellent laws accordingl­y. But implementa­tion goes in the wrong direction everywhere in our country as we have corruption everywhere. Our officials can play unimaginab­le tricks to make money by corruption, as if they are corruption experts. One can understand it from the fake Bhutanese corruption scandal. Because of this, our people suffer all the time. When I remember all these things, I get somehow worried about whether it will be in the same state regarding the cooperativ­e victim's problem of getting the deposit and interest soon. Anyway, let us hope and pray for better.

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 ?? ?? Ichha Raj Tamang, the chairman of Civil Group and the leading operator of Civil Savings and Credit Cooperativ­e.
Ichha Raj Tamang, the chairman of Civil Group and the leading operator of Civil Savings and Credit Cooperativ­e.

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