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BURMA

     During the five weeks that we stayed in Burma, we were shown and discussed, under the guidance of Mr. C.R.P. Cooper, the officiating Registrar of Co-operative Societies, eight different forms of the Co-operative movement, as it has developed in that Province of India, namelyl :-

1. Rural Credit Society (Agricultural)
2. Union of Rural Credit Societies (Agricultural).
3. Weavers' Credit Society (Non-Agricultural).
4. Urban Industrial Co-operative Society.
5. Cattle Insurance Society.

6. District Central Bank.

7. The Burma Provincial Co-operative Bank.

8. Co-operative Colonisation Scheme.

     It is now propose to deal in detail with each of these eight different form of Co- operation.

 

Rural Credit Society (Agricultural)

     Two types of rural Credit Societies have been tried in Burma, Raiffeisen and Luzatti. The Chief difference between these two types are stated in the Burma Official Handbook to be, namely, that in the Raiffeisen system the shares are small, repayable only at withdrawal or death, with indivisible profits : while in the Luzatti system, the shares, which are larger, are payable in yearly instalments, and are repayable after 10 years. During this period the profits are indivisible. After ten years the share capital is returnable, and futrue profits may be divided as follows :- 75% to members, and 25% to the reserve fund. The accumulated profits during the ten years period are turned into non-returnable shares, "pro rata" with the original shares held by the members.

     Loan are granted to members by the Society on the following term :-

  1. For buying grain - repayable in one year.
  2. For buying cattle - repayable in two years.
  3. For buying land, or paying debts - in three to five years.

     The amount of loan repayable by each member during the ensuing year is fixed at the Annual General Meeting of the Society immediately preceding.
      Once an individual has joined a Society, further outside borrowing is discouraged, but it has not yet been found possible to do away with this altogether.
     The Government guarantee that a Society shall not be in debt to more than one Bank at one time.
     Efforts are being made to induce the more wealthy members to deposit money with their Societies, but there has been little success as yet.

 

Union of Rural Credit Societies (Agricultural)

     This is a Supervising Union, each affiliated Society sending one or more representatives, according to the number of its members. The number of Societies affiliated to a Union varies between 10 to 15.

     The duties of a Supervising Union are four fold :-

  1. To supervise, and educate primary Societies.
  2. To set in an advisory capacity to the Central Banks regarding loans to Societies.
  3. To limit the maximum credit of Societies (this must be confirmed by the Registrar of Co-operative Societies).
  4. To appoint Union auditors for the annual audit.
  5. The Secretary of the Union, the Supervisors and the Auditors, are all paid by the Union, which levies an annual subscription on the Societies for this purpose. The question of official super-audit is, discussed under "General Conclusions".

N.B. Another form, viz. a Guaranteeing Union, has been largely tried in Burma, but found wanting.

    As its name implies, the duty of this Union is to guarantee to the Bank the stability of a Society, and its ability to repay its loans. But it has no actual financial responsibility for the loans so guaranteed, and it has not proved in any way successful. This type of Union is now being discontinued.

 

Weavers' Co-operative Credit Society (Amarapura)

     Shares in this Society are fixed at Rs.100/- payable in four yearly instalments of Rs.25/- each.

     The custom is for members to pay Rs.2/- a month, but this is entirely optional, as long as the total sum is paid within the period specified.

     The Major portion of the capital at present in use has been borrowed from the Government at 6 1/2% the amount so borrowed in this Society now standing at Rs.12,000/-. As the Society is relatively new, the share capital subscribed by members is still small : this applies to deposits as well.

     The profits are divided annually as follows :- 10% is payable as dividend on shares, 25% goes to Reserve, while the remainder is given in the shape of rewards for good weaving, and also of "Directors Fees" (if there is any money available).

     This rule is made to encourage improvement in the quality of the weaving and also energy and keenness on the part of the Committee.

     The number of members in such Societies as this is usually limited.

     The yarn, both silk and cotton is purchased wholesale by the Society, and distributed among the members.

     The members of the Society have two alternatives, namely

  1. to work with the Society's raw material and sell the finished product on their own behalf, being debited with the cost of the material, plus interest, or
  2. to return the finished product (made of the Society's raw material) to the Society, being paid by piece-work.

Hita Industrial Co-operative Society (Mandalay)

     This Society, which was started in 1920, was originally formed to act as a kind of Co-operative Commission shop, for the sale of agricultural produce on behalf of both primary Societies and individual members.

     It was not found to be successful, and after one year's working the form was changed into an Industrial Co-operative Society with two branches of activity (a) a Printing Establishment and (b) an Industrial Department for the sale of cloth, and indigenous handicrafts.

     The value of the shares is Rs.50/- each, and membership is open to Societies and individuals.

     The sales are conducted in two ways, at the option of the member, viz :-

  1. a commission of 10%, to cover all expenses, or
  2. a commission of 5%, clear profit, plus the expenses of the sale.

     The Printing Establishment, which obtains a good many orders for Co-operative printing, already shows a handsome profit but the Industrial Department at present shows an annual loss. The reasons for this will be discussed under "General Conclusions".

 

Cattle Insurance Society, and Re-insurance Society

     The original capital of the Society is obtained from individual members by means of shares of Rs.50/- each, paid in instalements. In their turn the Societies subscribe shares, to form the Re-insurance Society. The Government used to guarantee an interest- free loan to support the Central Re-insurance Society in case of disaster, That guarantee has now been withdrawn.

     Plough cattle only are insured, and they must be over 4 years and under 12 years of age. Valuation of insured cattle takes place every six months.

     The premium paid is divided into two halves, one half being kept by the Society and one half sent to the Re-insurance Society. If the insured cattle dies, the total amount payable to the owner is two-thirds of the declared value. Of this sum the Society pays half, and the Re-insurance Society half, thus dividing the liability between them.

     The policy is only payable, if the Society is satisfied that al the necessary steps were taken by the owner to preserve the cattle. It will not be paid, if the death is due to

  1. Theft
  2. Carelessness
  3. Accident.

     For buffaloes a higher premium is payable than for oxen and cows.

     The premium at present fixed in Burma for oxen and cows is 3% of the declared value, and 5% for buffaloes.

     All profits, which may accrue, are placed to a Reserve Fund, for the purpose of meeting possible future deficits.

 

District Central Co-operative Bank (Pegu and Prome)

     This is a Central Institution to finance the rural primary Societyes.

     It has an authorised and paid up captial, and the value of the shares is Rs.50/- each. The share-holders consist of both Societies and individuals, while the Bank in addition takes fixed deposits, savings deposits, and cash credits from the Provincial bank.

     Loans are only made to Societies, and not to individuals.

     It absolutely necessary, at exceptional time of flood or drought, loans may be obtained from the Imperial Bank of India, and these loans will then be guaranteed by the Government.

     For every thousand Rupees borrowed by a primary Society, one share must be taken by that Society.

     Deposits are taken for periods fixed at from one to five years at rates of interest varying from 5% for one year to 7% or 8% for five years.

     The accounts of these banks are audited and supervised annually by the Registrar, to whom are also submitted fortnightly and quarterly returns, devised to prevent over-trading.

     The Directors and Committee are all local men, elected by the shareholders, and not in any way connected with the Government.

 

Burma Provincial Co-operative Bank. (Mandalay)

     This was originally registered as a Central Bank, but has now become the main Provincial Co-operative Bank in Burma. It supports the Central Banks, but still deals direct with primary Societies.

     The authorised share capital of the Bank in 1920 was five lakhs of Rupees (Rs.500,000/-), consisting of 1,250 individual shares and 3,750 Society shares, each of Rs.100/-.

     Of this the individual shares were fully paid-up, while of Society shares two Societies had taken fully paid-up shares and the remainder were half paid-up.

     The paid-up capital of the Bank has now reached the sum of six and a half lakhs of Rupees (Rs.650,000/-) and the reserve fund stands at Rs.415,000/-.

     Deposits are received on the following terms :

  • For 1 year at 6 per cent
  • For 2 years at 7 per cent
  • For 3 years at 8 per cent
  • There is also a Savings Bank attached and a Provident Fund.

     The committee consists of 14 members, of whom 12 must be resident in Mandalay, In addition, the Chairmen of Unions are "ex-officio" members of the Committee.

     The Bank has a European menager.

     Loans are only made to registered Co-operative Societies, and not to individuals. Of the annual net profits, 25% must by Law be placed to reserve.

 

Colonisation Scheme (Myitkina)

     This is a scheme now being worked by the Government to bring large areas of hither to uncultivated land in the north of Burma under cultivation.

     It is kept separate from the Co-operative movement, being under the care of a special officer appointed by the Government, and is financed entirely by the Government, At the same time the Colonisation Officer, as he is called, keeps in close touch with the Co-operative Department.

     The scheme was started about ten years ago and has been a success both socially and financially.

     The land revenue from the area under treatment has already doubled itself.

     Apart from the considerations mentioned in the 2nd. paragraph the methods employed are the same as in a Raiffeisen Co-operative Credit Society.

     Societies, which are grouped into Unions, obtain land from the Government rent free and lease it out to members also rent free. The members are only called upon to pay the land tax.

     Loans are obtained from the Government by the Societies through their Unions for cultivation purposes, in the same way as in Credit Societies.

     The Government still retains its ownership in the land at present, but it is its intention to make a free gift of the land if, and wherever, the settlers prove satisfactory.

     The Societies require much supervision and somtimes even compulsion in their early stages, but once they realise the benefits obtainable from the new land, they become good and earnest workers.

     The Registrar, in his last Report, emphasized the necessity of making every Society member understand.

     "(1) the nature of unlimited liability, and"

     "(3) the fact that the land is not his own, and that cattle have little value".

     "The only security that Societies can offer to the Government is their future profits. These depend on hard work and honesty. Persons who for any reason cannot be trusted to make a profit out of their cultivation should not be admitted into any group of settlers and thereby into any Society."

 

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ห้องสมุดพิทยาลงกรณ  : หน้าแรก | ประวัติกรมหมื่นพิทยาลงกรณ | Report on the tour H.H. Prince Bidya | Burma
                                                                                                                                                    

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