The Coconut Development Board (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was introduced to amends the Coconut Development Board Act, 1979. The Act established the Coconut Development Board to amend the composition of the Coconut Development Board to improve its management and administration. Key features of the Bill include:
- Functions of the Board:
Under the Act, the Board may recommend measures to improve the marketing of coconut and its products in and outside India. The Act allows the Board to finance suitable schemes, in consultation with the central and state governments, to improve the quality and increase the production of coconut. This would apply to areas where coconut is grown on a large scale. The Bill amends this provision to extend such financing to all coconut producing states.
- Changes to the management:
Under the Act, the Chairman of the Board or Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is appointed by the central government. The Chairman is entitled to a salary and allowance, as prescribed by the central government. The Bill proposes to make the post of Chairman a non-executive one, and entitles him to only allowances to be prescribed by the central government. The Bill creates a separate post of CEO, who will also be appointed by the central government and may be of the rank of Joint Secretary to the central government, or above. The duties, salary, and allowances of the CEO will be prescribed by the central government. Under the Act, two members representing the departments of Revenue and Civil Supplies and Co-operation are appointed to the Board by the central government. The Bill proposes to substitute the member representing the department of Civil Supplies and Co-operation with a member representing the department of Consumer Affairs. The Bill adds an ex-officio member to the Board. The member will be the Joint Secretary to the central government, in charge of the Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture.
- State representatives:
Under the Act, the Board includes three members representing the states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka, all appointed by the central government. The Bill adds that a fourth representative from Andhra Pradesh (appointed by the central government) will also be included in the Board. Under the Act, the Board also includes five members appointed in rotation by the central government. These members represent five states (Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Maharashtra, Orissa, and West Bengal) and five union territories (Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Goa, Daman and Diu, Lakshadweep, and Pondicherry). The Bill reduces this to provide for four members representing eleven states (removing Andhra Pradesh from the existing list, and adding Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Nagaland, Telangana, and Tripura) and three union territories (removing Goa, and Daman and Diu).
- Representatives of coconut growers:
Under the Act, the Board includes two members representing the coconut growers of Kerala and one each representing the coconut growers of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. All these members are appointed by the central government. The Bill adds two more members, each representing coconut growers of Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat. These members will also be appointed by the central government.