This analysis deals with the existing national cooperative legislation of Myanmar which is the Co-operative Society Law, 1992 and the two regulations issued thereafter for implementing the law, namely : the Co-operative Society Rules are (promulgated in 1998) and thereafter the rules which been replaced by the Co-operative Society Rules (2013).
The degree of ‘cooperative friendliness’ of Myanmar’s cooperative legislation is described as ‘more cooperative friendly than not’. This is because it is seen that all departments under Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation (MoALI is the responsible ministry for cooperative sector development in Myanmar) have regular coordination and the cooperative departments at the township level regulate cooperatives. Education of relevant legislations for cooperatives is also done by the cooperative departments regularly. Myanmar’s Legislation heavily influenced by its precursor which is the cooperative law of the erstwhile British India. It has the legal characteristics that distinguish Co-operatives from other legal types of business and the voting pattern of one member one vote.
Key recommendations for improvement
An encouraging legal framework which can support the systematic development of farmer organisations can be developed. Re-organization of the cooperative departments maybe undertaken to re-strategise priorities to concentrate upon cooperative development activities such as: education, knowledge sharing, international relations and business development rather than focusing on regulatory activities alone such as auditing and management of the cooperative societies.
Myanmar’s cooperative law requires a review of the existing legislation as well as the extant rules. Cooperatives in Myanmar would benefit from being granted more autonomy. An impetus on cooperatives in the agricultural sector would be ideal for the growth of the national agrarian economy through cooperatives in the primary sector.
The legal frameworks analysis is a tool developed under the ICA-EU Partnership #coops4dev. It is an overview of the national legal frameworks at the time of writing. The views expressed within are not necessarily those of the ICA, nor does a reference to any specific content constitute an explicit endorsement or recommendation by the ICA.