Constitutional status was accorded to the cooperative societies via 97th Constitutional amendment act. Apart from providing for the right to form cooperative societies to be a fundamental right under Article 19 of the Constitution of India and insertion of Article 43B under the Directive Principles of State Policy on promotion of cooperative societies, the amendment also introduced a new Part IXB on Cooperative Societies.
Reason for according constitutional status:
The co-operative sector, over the years, has made significant contribution to various sectors of national economy and has achieved voluminous growth. However, it has shown weaknesses in safeguarding the interests of the members and fulfilment of objects for which these institutions were organised. There have been instances where elections have been postponed indefinitely and nominated office bearers or administrators remaining in- charge of these institutions for a long time. This reduces the accountability of the management of co-operative societies to their members. Inadequate professionalism in management in many of the co- operative institutions has led to poor services and low productivity. Co- operatives need to run on well established democratic principles and elections held on time and in a free and fair manner. Therefore, there is a need to initiate fundamental reforms to revitalize these institutions in order to ensure their contribution in the economic development of the country and to serve the interests of members and public at large and also to ensure their autonomy, democratic functioning and professional management.