||  Index  ||  Chapter 17  ||  Chapter 18  ||  Chapter 19  ||  Chapter 20  ||  Chapter 21  || 
||  Chapter 22  || 
Chapter 23  ||  Chapter 24  ||  Chapter 25  ||  Chapter 26  ||

Co-operative Societies

             2301.   Types of Co-operative Societies.— The following types of co-operative societies are functioning on the Railways:-

(1) Consumer co-operative Societies
(2) Co- operative credit Societies and Banks.
(3) Co-operative Housing Societies.

             2302. Encouragement to co-operatives.- Government policy is directed towards encouraging co-operative movement on Indian Railways.


             2303. Organisation:- consumer co-operative societies referred to in this Chapter mean retail societies which provide for the needs of their members.

            The work relating to organisation, supervision routine inspection, etc., of consumer co-operative societies and giving guidance to them and developing their activities is the  responsibility of the Railway Administrations. This work will be under the overall control of the Chief Personnel Officers at the headquarters and they will ensure necessary co-ordination in the divisions through the Divisional Personnel officers who in turn should keep a close watch on the work of the welfare inspectors one of whose essential duties will be to look after the co-operative societies. The welfare Inspectors should be given training in the principles and practice of 'Co-operation' by the co-operative inspectors attached to the railways according to the syllabus approved by the Railway Board. The welfare inspectors should associate themselves with the co-operative inspector during the latter’s visit to the societies and learn as much as possible from him of the technique of organisation, supervision, etc., of consumer societies and acquaint themselves with the type of work that is required to be done by them. One welfare inspector should be placed in charge of each centre for attending to all the items of work relating to that particular society. The welfare inspectors should submit to the chief Personnel Officers through the Divisional Personnel Officer monthly report showing the work actually done by them in connection with the organisation development etc., of the co-operative Societies.

            Railway Administrations should submit to the Railway Board a quarterly report in from No. 79 of appendix 9 about the progress made in developing co-operative activity by the welfare. Inspectors. These reports should be for the quarters ending 31st March, 30th June, 30th September and 31st December of each year and should be submitted within a month from the close of the quarter.

             2304. There should normally be only one co- operative store functioning at a junction station between two or more railways to be established under the auspices of the railway working the station who should bear all debits on-account of grant of subsidy. To open branches of the main store, accommodation may be provided by the other railways, for whose staff, branches are proposed to be opened. In case a non-railway building is rented for the main store or a branch, the cost of rent will be borne by the working railway under whose auspices the main store is established .

             2305. Classification:- The consumer co-operative societies should be classified as follows:-


Small co-operative stores- with a membership below one thousand;


Big co-operative stores- with a membership of one thousand and above.


The area of operation of each store will be fixed on the following principles:-


Competition between different stores should be avoided, i.e. the jurisdiction of one society should not overlap with that of the other;


A small store will generally have an area of operation covering a radius of about 32 Kms and minimum of six hundred railway servants residing therein;


the area of operation of the stores must lie within the territorial boundary of the State in which the head office is situated.

             2306. Membership- (1) membership shall be open to all serving railway servants. A Railway servant desiring to become a member shall be required to purchase at least one share. The value of each share shall not be less than Rs. 10. They should also pay an admission fee of  50 Paise or Re. 1,as may be provided in the  bye-laws of ,the -society.

            (2) Retired or ex-Railway servants should not be permitted to become members or to continue as such beyond a limited period.

            (3) Relatives and nominees of retired railway servants should not be allowed to derive any benefit of membership and their share money should not be accepted but refunded, if necessary.

             2307. Management - Railway co-operative societies shall be managed as under:—


The Management of the societies will be carried on through a management committee which will be formed from amongst the shareholders of the society;


The society will appoint a paid secretary who should supervise subject to the control of the managing committee, the day to day working of the staff and organise the business of the society;


The managing committee may appoint sub-committees for supervising different activities of the society;


Subcommittees so appointed may be delegated final powers in certain matters but  policy decisions taken by them must be confirmed by managing committees; and


The supreme authority must vest in the general body of shareholders;

             2308. Taking part in the activities of Consumer Co-operative Societies by gazetted railway servants.— Gazetted Railway servants can become members of consumer societies and also be elected as office-bearers but they should not become ex-officio office-bearers unless the Railway Board so approve.

            Note- In respect of Railway men’s consumer Co-operative societies made eligible for financial assistance referred to in items (i) and (ii) of para 2309 below, the above provisions will not apply and in that case the General manager (or officer to whom the General manager delegates his powers in this respect) would nominate on the managing committee of the Railway men’s Consumer Co-operative society Concerned, gazetted officers as official representatives upto one third of the strength of the Managing Committee or three Directors, whichever is less.

             2309. Concessions:- The following concessions are granted to these societies:-


Grant of Matching share capital contribution upto Rs. 2,500 (Per society) in the case of those Railway men's consumer co-operative Societies which have started functioning on and after 1.9.1963  as also in the case of such of doremant societies which ceased to function for want of finances and in the opinion of the Railway Administration, could be revived by the grant of this concession. The power to sanction this rests with the General Managers which may be re delegated by them to Chief Personnel Officers but not to any authority lower than him.


(NO. 63/E (Coop)/40/26 Pt.dt.5.6.69)


Grant of interest-bearing repayable working capital loan upto Rs. Rs. 10,000 per society to such of the Railway men’s Consumer Co-operative Societies which, for want of finances, are either not functioning progressively or cannot expand their scope of activity and take up additional activities like the opening of fair price shops. The actual amount of capital loan, however, should be determined with specific reference to the actual need of the society. Co-operative Societies having more than one fair price shop may, however be granted working capital loan @ Rs. 10.000 per fair price shop instead of Rs. 10,000 for the society as a whole. The power to sanction this loan is delegated to the General Manager subject to: (I) provision of funds by Railway administration for the allotment of which the Board should be approached in advance; (ii) fulfillment of conditions by the Railway consumer co-op. Stores as laid down in para 2308 above and (iii ) the powers delegated may be re-delegated to Chief Personnel Officers but not to any authority lower than him.


As to the authorities empowered to execute agreement form on behalf of the president of India for grant of interest bearing loan, para 16 of Part XVIII of the revised notification relating to the execution of contracts etc. issued by the Ministry of Law on 1.2.66 circulated to the Railways etc. vide Board’s letter No. E(X)II-62/CNT-1 dt. 25.2.65 may be referred to.


(NO. 63/E(Coop)/40/26 dt.. 1.2.65, 64/E/(Coop)/14/7 Pt. dt. 28.3.66, 63/E(Coop)/ 40/26/Pt. dt.5.6.69 and 74/E(Coop) 14/9/ dt. 6.8.74)


Subsidy amounting to not more than half the administrative and establishment charges for the first three years, irrespective of whether the financial results of working of the society reveal a net profit or not, subject to the condition that the state co-operative Department concerned certifies that the society is functioning properly;


Subsidy amounting to not more than half the administrative and establishment charges incurred in respect of fair price shop section in the case of the Railway men's Consumer co-operative- Societies which were in existence for more than 3 years from the date they started fair price shops section subject to the proviso that the concession will not be for more than 3 years from the date of starting fair price shop.

(v) (a)

Provision of suitable accommodation on payment of nominal rent of Re. 1 p.a. (plus actual municipal taxes) should be charged from such of the Railway men's consumer co-operative societies, which run fair price shops.


Rent to be charged from such of the Rail men’s consumer Co-operative Societies, which do not run fair price shops should be only the out of pocket expenses in the way of maintenance charges and municipal taxes but should not include any element of depreciation and of interest. In this case rent calculated at the above rates should be recovered in terms of para1960-E.No. 63/E(Coop)/40/25 dt.30-3.64)


provision of one ceiling fan for the society free of cost;


Supply of water and electricity at concessional rates;


Recovery of dues on account of credit sales from the salary bills of railway servants;


Recovery of share money in lumpsum or by installments from salary bills of Railway servants;


Special passes and special casual leave to the members of the managing committee for attending meetings of the committee or board of directors or a sub-committee;


Privilege  passes and privilege ticket orders to the employees of the societies;


Medical facilities to the staff of the societies.

            All reasonable assistance should be afforded in the matter of giving quarters to the staff of the Railwaymen's Consumer Co-operative stores (including the fair price shops run by them) wherever it is considered absolutely essential and where the towns and villages are situated far away .from. the railway colonies, reasonable rent i.e., as for outsiders being recovered when ever feasible to spare quarter.

            Note- The concessions of additional subsidy and nominal rent of Re. 1/- P.M. to the Railwaymen’s Consumer Co-operative Societies, are intended to be allowed to such of the societies which continue to trade in the items of commodities normally covered by the fair price shop scheme for supply to their members and other railway employees even during the period when the fair price shop sections are temporarily closed down during a year according to the policy of the State Governments. Such broken periods should be reckoned for the purpose of granting additional subsidy for the maximum period of 3 years and that the broken periods wherein the consumer Co-operative Societies do not effect sales of the items normally covered by the fair price shops scheme should be excluded for this purpose.

             2310. Subsidy- For the purpose of calculating the amount of subsidy to the consumer co-operative societies the following items shall be included-:

Establishment Charges:

Pay and allowances of the staff, including monthly allowances to the secretary and other office bearers, as also society’s contribution to a duly constituted employees provident Fund, if any, subject to the following exceptions:-


cost of staff appointed for maintaining the accounts of credit given to members by way of credit sales; and


honoraria which shall be paid out of the net profits after the end of the year;


travelling allowance to staff and office-bearers;


contingent expenses claimed by the staff and office-bearers by way of conveyance charges. If any;


sitting fee, if any, paid to members of the managing committee or those of the Board for attending meeting of the managing committee or board of directors; 

Administrative Charges

Rates and taxes excluding charges on account of water and electricity;This does not include sales tax, transport charges, insurance premia, purchase of stationery and books, printing of forms, postal expenses and audit fees etc. and municipal tax payable on the building owned by such a co-operative society shall also be excluded.


Note- (1) All consumer co-operative societies registered after 12th August 1949 despite the fact that they were working as unregistered organisations prior to that date, should be considered eligible for the subsidy provided they fulfill other conditions.


(2) No subsidy will be paid  societies towards the rent that will be borne by borne by them with effect from 1st October 1958.


(3) Any subsidy, grant in aid etc. which for all intents and purposes is an “income” of Railway men’s consumer co-operative society should be taken into account for accounting purposes and shown in the annual profit and loss accounts separately for their relevant period. 


(No. E(Coop)/55 Taxes/1 dt. 16.3.1956 & 65/E (Coop)/34/1 dt. 19.9.1967)

             2311. Procedure for payment of subsidy- (i) The following  procedure is prescribed for expediting the payment of subsidy shortly after the close of each quarter of the year, i.e. ending 30th September, 31st December, 31st March and 30th June the consumer co-operative societies should, in the first instance, make an application in Form No. 80 of appendix 9, to the General Manager, through the respective Registrar of co-operative societies, giving therein the different items as laid down in paragraph 2310. The registrar of Co-operative Societies, while forwarding the application of the society to the General Manager of the railway will attach a certificate in form No. 81 (Section A) of appendix 9 as to whether the society has been working properly or not. If the claim is supported by the Registrar of  Co-operative Societies which shall include a certificate signed by an Assistant Registrar, Deputy Registrar or Joint Registrar on behalf of the Registrar, the papers should be passed on to the Co- operative inspector attached to the railway who will visit the society shortly there after, scrutinise each item carefully with the vouchers and see whether these are in order in the event of an item, the claim for which is not covered by the "Railway Board's instructions referred to above, it should, for the time being, be excluded though the matter can be settled later by making a reference to the Railway Board. The papers along with the inspector’s certificate in Form No. 81 (Section B) of Appendix 9 should he passed on to the financial Adviser and Chief Account Officer for payment without further scrutiny. In case the Registrar does not give a certificate of satisfactory working, the society’s claim should be rejected and the society informed accordingly. 

            (ii) However, for payment of subsidy in terms of para 2309 (iv), production or a certificate of the Registrar of Co-operative Societies is not necessary. Instead, Co-operative /Welfare Inspector, in addition to giving a certificate in Form No. 81 (Section B) should also give a certificate will be countersigned by the officer under whose signature the subsidy, bill is drawn. In the certificate to be recorded in Form No. 81 (Section B) the following may be added at the end.

           To the best of my knowledge and belief, there is no reasonable suspicion of corrupt practices in the working of the above Railway men’s Consumer Co-operative society.

            (No. 64/E (Coop)/9/6 dt. 1-5-67)

             2312. Allocation of subsidy-: The expenditure incurred in connection with the grant of subsidy should be booked under the sub-detailed head J.421-subsidy to Co-operative stores.

           2313. Accommodation:- Where convenient suitable existing premises may be offered to the consumer Co-operative societies on rent. If these are not available accommodation  may be taken ensuring that the rent is reasonable and the accommodation is not excessive. If neither of the courses is feasible, new building may be constructed with Railway Board’s sanction. The buildings should be so designed as to admit of their conversion into staff quarters later, if necessary. In the newly established railway colonies, it should be possible to provide accommodation to consumer co-operative societies, where provision for construction of a market exists; where however, a market is not provided the construction of building for allotment to the society on a reasonable rent should be dealt with separately for each case on merits and with the prior approval of the Railway Board.

              2314. Recovery of rent:- Railway men’s  Consumer Co-op. Societies as well as any agency authorised by state Govts. to run fair price shop will be charged nominal rent of Re. 1/- per annum (Plus actual municipal taxes) which also includes the rent of electrical installations provided in the building so licensed. In the case of Railway men’s consumer Co-op. Societties which do not run fair price shops, the rent to be charged should only cover maintenance charges @ 2.5% per annum on the capital cost w.e.f. 23-5.66.Municipal and other taxes payable under local laws are to be recovered in addition in case of Railway buildings, constructed after 26.5.50. the service charges paid to the local bodies in lieu of municipal taxes should be recovered from the societies allotted with such accommodation. The rent will be recovered from the existing as well as from the new societies whether they are housed in railway buildings which are already available in buildings which are specifically for the purpose as under:

Rent Payable

            During the first year from 1st Oct. 1958 or the date of inauguration of the Society whichever is later.

Do. Second year one-fourth
Do. Third year Half rent
Do. Fourth year Three-fourths rent
Do. Fifth year: onwards Full rent.

             2315. Minor alterations to buildings:- Minor structural alterations may be carried out by the railways to buildings allotted to consumer societies so as to make them suitable for locating their shops.

             2316. Lease of Railway land:- Land, it surplus to railway, requirements may be licensed on nominal rent to the consumer co-operative societies for the purpose of construction of their own buildings subject to the condition laid down in paragraph 819, of the Indian Railway Code for the Engineering Department. The licence should include provision for resuming the land at short notice not exceeding a month. The buildings that may be put-up by the societies on railway land should be according to specification approved by the Railway Administration concerned so that such buildings may be utilised for staff quarters later.

              2317. Supply of equipment:- No. equipment should be supplied to co-operative stores free of cost.

                 2318. Provision of Electric fans and charges for electricity and water:- The co-operative stores should not be charged for electrical installations and fittings as the rent for the accommodation covers the cost of electrification also. The expenditure for electrification should be met from the funds provided for staff amenities. Celling fans may be provided free of cost at not more than one in number per store, additions being paid for by the society concerned. The rate for consumption of electricity should be fixed on the same basis as far railway institutes.

             2319. Rules of procedure for credit sales-: (1) The consumer co-operative societies should encourage cash sales. If, however, credit sales are to be introduced, there should be provision in the bye-laws on the lines mentioned below:—


The sales should generally be in cash; where however, credit sales are to be introduced the society may, subject to the restrictions that may be prescribed in this behalf, allow at any one time the purchase of consumer goods on credit only up to the maximum value of the share subscribed by a railway servant even if not fully paid up plus the actual amount of the purchase deposits, if any at his credit provided that he executes an agreement or an authority in favour of the Railway Administration to deduct from his monthly pay the amount due from him on account of the sales on credit.


The society shall pay to the Railway Administration from time to time the fee levied by the later for the recovery of  its dues from the salary bills of the member;


Every society shall obtain the  approval of the Ministry of labour under Section 7(2)(i)) of the payment of wages Act, 1936, before introducing credit sales, in respect of the staff governed by that Act. The amount of credit sales should not exceed the limit prescribed by that ministry under the Payment of Wages Act.  

Note:- No. Amendments to the bye laws which would infringe the provisions of the Payment of Wages Act, 1936 shall be made without the prior approval of the Central Government.


The various restrictions that may be imposed on the society in respect of credit sales by Railway Administrations are:-


The credit sales to the extent of full value of shares subscribed, plus the amount of purchase deposits may be allowed, in the case of those societies which are in a sound financial position and have surplus funds at their disposal and are not indebted to their members or non-members in the shape of loans or deposits etc.


The limit of restricted credits to the extent of 50% of the value of the share or shares subscribed by a member plus the amount of purchase deposits, if any at his credit, should be applied in all other cases.


After the necessary approval has been obtained, the society shall obtain in duplicate, an agreement in From No. 82 from its, members and furnish one copy of it to the Railway Administration.


Refreshments viz. tea, coffee, cooked meals, etc., served from canteens or any tea stall, etc., managed by the society, should be paid for in cash by the railway servants and no credit sales should be permitted in such cases.


Societies which are selling goods on credit and have not fallen in line with the above instructions will not be afforded the facility of recovery of their dues through salary bills.


No recovery of dues will be made if credit sales have been based on purchase deposits, since the dues in question can be set off by the co-operative societies against the deposits at the credit of any particular member.


The following \ procedure will be observed in connection with recovery of credit sale dues:-


Every society should prepare in triplicate a list as in Form No. 83 of its member making credit purchases, and forward it in duplicate to the respective Pay Bill section of the Railway administration not later than the 20th of each month which would, in turn, make the deduction from the salary bills in hand and pass one copy to the Accounts office for taking further action. The Accounts office will pass the bill and arrange to send a cheque for the consolidated amount to the society together with that copy of the list. The society should, on receipt of the cheque arrange to pass credit entries in respect of the recoveries.


The Railway Administration will try to expedite the despatch of the recovered amount which should as far as possible be done within 30 days of receipt of the society’s demand.

             2320. Recovery of share money through salary bills.— Deduction on account of share money in one lump or in instalments through salary bills can be permitted only in the case of those organisations which have been registered under the co-operative Societies Act of the respective States and if the deductions have been otherwise authorised under the payment of wages Act, 1936.

  The following procedure  will be observed in this connection:— 

the consent of the railway servant who desires to pay the value of share/shares purchased by him through his salary bill be obtained by the society in Form No: 84 of Appendix 9 in duplicate. One copy of the form will be furnished to the Railway Administration (bill preparing section) along with the first recovery list and the other copy will be kept by the society:


The society should prepare in triplicate a list of recoveries in Form No.85 of Appendix 9 and forward it in duplicate to the respective bill preparing section of the Railway Administration which will make the deductions from the salary bills of the Railway servants concerned and pass on one copy and the recovery list along with the bills (after filling in Column 6) to the Accounts Office. The Accounts Office will pass the bill and arrange to send a cheque for the consolidated amount to the society together with that copy of the recovery list. The society on receipt of the cheque and the recovery list will arrange to check the correctness of the recoveries and make necessary entries in the register maintained for this purpose.