Jakarta (ANTARA) - Co-operatives and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Minister Teten Masduki stated that the Cooperatives Bill can be a long-term solution in developing the country's cooperatives to become stronger and more resilient through various efforts.

"First, the initiative to establish an Independent Supervisory Agency, especially for the cooperative savings and loans sector," he stated here on Wednesday.

The ministry along with related stakeholders had worked on drafting the Cooperative Bill to replace Law No. 25 of 1992 on cooperatives, with several strategic issues, such as provisions for capital, governance patterns, expansion of business fields, and strengthening of the cooperatives ecosystem, being included.

According to Masduki, the supervision of medium- and large-scale cooperatives should be reinforced, so that their operations can be more prudent and reliable.

The minister noted that another effort is the initiative to establish the Cooperatives' Deposit Insurance Institute to provide a sense of security and comfort to members in depositing their money.

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He also underscored the need to fortify the regulations of criminal sanctions in a bid to protect legal entities, members, and society, to prevent potential abuse of cooperative practices.

Through this approach, Masduki believes that abuse in cooperative practices can be reduced.

Moreover, he pointed out that bankruptcy in cooperatives should be handled through appropriate steps and not be impacted by bankruptcy claims, both internally and externally.

"In addition to these four steps, the upcoming new law will strengthen the role of supervisors. So far, many supervisors do not play a (significant) role. They are more seen as a complement to the organizational structure," he remarked.

In the Cooperatives Bill, supervisors are responsible for losses if they fail to supervise cooperatives. Based on these provisions, supervisors are expected to be more vigilant and conduct their duties.

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Translator: M Alatas, Kenzu T
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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