Kathmandu protests over troubled cooperatives resolved through negotiations

KATHMANDU: After nearly two months of protests in Maitighar, Kathmandu, cooperative victims have called off their demonstrations on Thursday following a successful agreement with the government.

The Ministry of Land Management, Cooperatives, and Poverty Alleviation (MoLMCPA) confirmed that an agreement had been reached with the representatives of the protesting cooperative victims. The two sides signed a comprehensive seven-point agreement.

The key points of the agreement include the prompt initiation of a ‘Deposit and Credit Guarantee Fund’ by the ministry to ensure the refund of money deposited by cooperative members in problematic cooperatives. Additionally, the government has agreed to establish a ‘Credit Information Bureau’ and a ‘Debt Recovery Tribunal’ to expedite the debt recovery process.

The MoLMCPA, the Department of Cooperatives, and the Problematic Cooperative Management Committee will collaborate to amend cooperative-related laws, addressing existing anomalies and promoting cooperative principles.

Furthermore, three representatives from cooperative victims will be included in the cooperative sector reform suggestion task force established by the government.

Both parties have also agreed to create a clear work plan for the return of deposits to troubled cooperatives, including Oriental Cooperative. Despite the government’s intention to return the money to the victims, the lack of a clear roadmap had caused delays.

The protests were sparked by victims demanding the return of their deposits, along with interest, and the freezing of assets belonging to absconding cooperative operators.

Earlier, there were confrontations between cooperative victims and the police during a demonstration in Kathmandu on Thursday, but the situation has now been resolved through negotiations.

According to government records, approximately 500 cooperatives are currently facing financial crises, primarily due to the ongoing economic recession. A report from the Central Investigation Bureau of Nepal Police indicates that this crisis has also impacted around a dozen commercial banks that had invested in these cooperatives, exacerbating their financial problems.

Fiscal Nepal |
Friday August 4, 2023, 10:45:49 AM |

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