islamabad - Registrar Cooperative Societies ICT has directed the managing committees/administrators of the cooperative housing societies operating in the limits of the federal capital not to launch a new project or scheme without completing at least 70 percent of the development work on its ongoing project, it has been learnt.

The directions come at a time when the affairs at majority of the housing societies are rocked by financial irregularities and the authorities concerned remained oblivious to the suffering of the investors. The registrar, through a circular on March 15, 2016, sent a set of directions to the administrators under section 44-D and 44-E of Cooperative Societies Act, 1925, which aims at ‘safeguarding the rights of the members of cooperative societies.’

According to the circular seen by The Nation, every society shall ensure timely completion of its ongoing projects and no society shall launch a new project or scheme without completing at least 70 percent of the development work on its ongoing project. Furthermore, no society shall transfer or utilise funds of one head of account to any other head or project. The circular further said that every cooperative society shall limit its membership to the number of plots and shall not admit to its membership persons exceeding beyond 200 percent of plots/flats/dwellings units, as the case may be, available for allotment. In case a society has already admitted members more than double of plots or dwelling units available for allotment, such society shall rationalise the surplus members in a prescribed manner and such members shall not be entitled to exercise rights to membership or incur liability as member till the time such member is allotted a plot.

No society shall issue any allotment letter to its members without taking over possession of the same land and shall hand over the possession of such plot to the allottee within three months of the issuance of the allotment letter. No society shall change the location of the plot without seeking specific approval from the AGM provided that such does not involve any violation of the approved layout plan. The provident fund shall not be used in the business of society, the directions read.

Under the new directions, every cooperative society shall annually furnish details of allotment, creation, sub-division or amalgamation of plots/dwelling units to the concerned municipal/development authority so that no violation of approved layout plan is committed. Every society shall also ensure strict adherence to the building bye-laws of the concerned development authority by its members. Every cooperative society shall submit the statement of accounts, returns and documents enumerated in rule 14, 17 and 18 of cooperative societies rules, 1927 for the quarters ending March 31, June 30th, September 30 and December 31st, not later than April 15th, July 31st, October 14th and January 16th respectively.

Every cooperative society shall keep and maintain membership register containing the data of membership, number of shares purchased, names of nominee and bank accounts’ details of the members. They will also share allotment register along with details of amount paid thereof and the cash book showing daily receipts and expenditure and the balance at the end of each week. Receipt book containing forms in duplicate, one of each set to be issued for money received by the society and the other to serve as counterfoil would also be maintained. Loan ledger showing the number and date of disbursement of each loan issued to member, the amount of loan, the purpose for which the loan is granted and the dates of repayment, distinguishing principal and interest would also be maintained, said the circular. All the cooperative societies in the limits of Islamabad have been directed to ensure compliance to the instructions, failing which such cooperative society shall be liable to be proceeded against under section 62-A (2) of Cooperative Societies Act, 1925. Allotment of plots to the applicants in many housing societies in the city still remains a dream, thanks to the mismanagement on part of the administrators and indifference approach by the previous regulators. In some cases, the people invested their savings in the housing societies only to know after decades that the society’s previous management had not even purchased land for the project. The complaints of purchasing land for the projects at highly exaggerated price also surfaced. In some cases, instead of purchasing a compact piece, the land was purchased in pockets.