Chit fund depositors in Odisha have to apply fresh to get refunds

Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Oct 21:

Chit fund depositors in Odisha have to apply fresh to get back their money which they have lost to fraudulent operators of these schemes in the state.

Investors duped by chit fund companies protesting delay in return of money to them
Investors duped by chit fund companies protesting delay in return of money to them

The additional district magistrate (ADM) will conduct a preliminary inquiry first and after conducting an on-spot inquiry will submit a report. Only after that depositors will get their lost money.

After years of file work this is what the state government’s Finance department has come out with to refund depositors of chit fund schemes their hard earned money which they had lost to fraudulent operators.

The lengthy guideline issued by the Finance department on October 16 in this connection says so, revealed sources. The state government has prepared the guideline to identify genuine investors, the sources added.

The Finance department has cited that according to the Orissa Protection of Interests of Depositors (in Financial Establishments) Act 2011 (OPID) rules once the court gives its interim verdict, the ADM will publish advertisements in the media to seek applications from investors.

Investors or depositors who were victims of defraud will have make fresh applications as per the process detailed in the advertisement to get refund of their money. Odisha Computer Application Centre (OCAC) is developing software using which investors can also apply for getting refunds.

On the basis of these applications ADMs will prepare a list of investors. The list will be forwarded to Economic Offences Wing (EOW) and police. The EOW and police will tally the list of names with the one in their possession and those names which do not tally will be scrutinized again.

The Finance department has cited that the final list obtained after tallying with the list available with that of the investigating agencies will be sent to collectors of different districts. Again district collectors will conduct direct verification of those names.

The district collector and SP of the district will form a special team for the area coming under each police station which will comprise of a sub inspector, revenue inspector, amin and extension officer. This team will make field visits and conduct verification of affected depositors. During the verification the depositor has to submit proof of identity card, certificates of deposits made, mode of payment and amount payable by the chit fund company. The team will also inquire/verify if any payment has been made to the depositor by the chit fund company.

On completion of the above mentioned complex process the final drawn out list of affected depositors will be put up at gram panchayat, municipality and published in local newspapers for 15 days. If no complaints or objections are received, the list will be handed over to the concerned court. On approval from the court, funds will be directly transferred to the bank account of the depositor/investor.

The government expects that the final list of depositors will be completed by the end of this year.

Notably, chit fund companies had collected about Rs 4,600 crore from the public in Odisha. The state government has this year in May announced that depositors losing Rs 10,000 or below will be considered as small depositors adding that priority will be accorded to them while making refunds.

Small depositors will be refunded on priority basis from the Rs 300 crore corpus created by selling assets of chit fund companies and other sources.

Money generated through e-auction of seized properties of chit fund companies will be utilized to refund money to other chit fund depositors, sources revealed.

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