New fee structure, shareholding requirements for provident societies
New regulations were tabled in Parliament last Tuesday, February 3, to amend fees and shareholding requirements for cooperatives governed under Industrial and Provident Societies Act (IPSA).
Errol Gallimore, registrar of Industrial and Provident Societies, said the principal changes include definitions of "capital base" and "prescribed liabilities" to add clarity to the terms being used in different sections of the principal IPSA, which was last amended in 2010.
There are now about 480 industrial and provident societies on record as well as 37 credit unions.
The Department of Industrial and Provident Societies, which falls under the Ministry of Finance and Planning, is currently supervisor of the credit unions and provident societies.
The newly tabled regulations amend the previous stipulation that no member be allowed to own more than $400 worth of shares to "no more than 20 per cent of shares".
The amendment also creates a new form, the 'AG1', for persons making application for dissolution of industrial and provident societies, with a new fee of $5,000.
Previously, said Gallimore, provident societies would produce instruments of dissolution in various forms. The new document introduces uniformity, and it requires the societies to outline how assets will be distributed and liabilities paid off.
The new regulations also prescribe an upgraded scale of fees to be paid to the supervisor of the societies based on the aggregate value of assets.
"The context here is the previous fees were considered too low and have been there for a number of years," said Gallimore.
They replace fees of $2 and $4 set two decades ago.