KATHMANDU: Saving and credit cooperatives with transactions exceeding Rs 500 million will now fall under the purview of the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB).
The Bill to Amend Some Acts Related to Preventing Money Laundering and Promoting Business, 2024, approved by the House of Representatives, empowers the central bank to include cooperatives with a turnover of Rs 500 million or more within its jurisdiction.
The Bill will become law after it is authenticated by the President following endorsement by the National Assembly.
Although the Bill initially included a provision prohibiting cooperatives from mobilizing more than Rs 2.5 million in deposits from a member, this provision has been removed.
As per the amendment, the NRB will regulate, monitor, and supervise cooperatives with turnovers exceeding Rs 500 million as per the recommendations of the Department of Cooperatives.
Calls had been made for the central bank to regulate and monitor large cooperatives with high turnovers in the past. However, the central bank had previously denied such requests, citing the lack of a legal framework. The new Bill has now paved the legal way for the central bank to regulate such cooperatives.
NRB Spokesperson Dr Gunakar Bhatta said that the Bill approved by the lower house has added new responsibilities on the central bank to regulate cooperatives. “Once the law comes into force, we will engage in further discussions on this matter,” he added.
Thousands of people across the country are at risk of losing their hard-earned savings, as many cooperatives, which have mobilized deposits worth billions of rupees, has run into problems due to the lack of laws to regulate them effectively.