PCWMC becomes dysfunctional

Katmandu, January 22

The Problematic Cooperatives Wealth Management Committee (PCWMC), which was formed by the government to assess assets and liabilities of troubled Oriental Cooperative and others and compensate the depositors, has become dysfunctional as the tenure of its members has ended.

The committee’s chairperson Yubaraj Subedi also recently tendered his resignation following the government’s decision to transfer him to the Commission for Investigation of Enforced Disappeared Persons (CIEDP).

As the government, especially the Ministry of Land Management, Cooperatives and Poverty (MoLMCP), is yet undecided about the new members and chairman of the committee, it has become dysfunctional.

“As per the existing law, the tenure of different members of the committee ended today. Since its chairman has also recently resigned, the committee will be dysfunctional for the next few days,” informed Deepak Khadka, undersecretary at the MoLMCP.

As the existing legislation has a provision to either give continuity to existing members or appoint new members in the committee, Subedi informed that MoLM- CP will soon decide on this matter. “The MoLMCP will decide whether to appoint new members or give continuity to existing members in the committee and take the proposal to the Cabinet,” he added.

However, Subedi admitted that the leadership at MoLM- CP is yet to do the necessary homework on this issue.

Till date, the Problematic Cooperatives Wealth Management Committee has announced the auction of 27 land plots in seven districts that have been identified as assets of Oriental Cooperative, a problematic cooperative.

However, the total value of these plots is merely Rs 40 million, which is less than 0.25 per cent of the total calculated liability of Oriental Cooperative worth Rs 16 billion.

The committee had calculated the total liability of Oriental Cooperative based on 7,500 complaints filed by the public (depositors), the government, banks and financial institutions such as Rastriya Banijya Bank, and contractual savings institutions like Employees Provident Fund. Various banks and financial institutions have said they had provided Rs 2.53 billion to housing projects and airlines owned by Sudhir Basnet, the chief of Oriental cooperative.

Along with Oriental, PCW- MC is also dealing with nine other troubled cooperatives.