Chit fund issue: Odisha govt to amend OPID Act

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Bhubaneswar: As per its decision to return the money to the small and genuine investors, who had invested their money in chit fund companies on a priority, the state government has decided to amend the Odisha Protection of Interests of the Depositors (OPID) Act, 2011, to make provisions for identification of genuine investors.

A bill to this effect will be presented in the State Assembly after it is approved by the State Cabinet at its meeting scheduled on February 26, official sources said.

Taking note of the fact that there is no mention of small and genuine investors in the OPID Act, 2011, the state government has decided to amend Sub Section 7 under Section 9 of the Act to take up on a priority basis the cases of small investors who have invested Rs 10,000 or less in the chit fund companies.

Besides, it would also replace the earlier provision in the Act, which states that the duped investors will have an equal share of the money raised through confiscation of the properties of the concerned chit fund companies. In its place, a new provision will be made in which priority would be given to small investors in the refund of money.

The government will also amend Sub Section 6 under Section 9 of the Act to further extend the time limit of 180 days for confiscation of properties of the chit fund companies.

To treat chit fund related crimes as a criminal and non-bailable offence, there will be amendment in Sub Section 1 and 2 under Section 15 of the Act. Besides, the government has also decided to bring in some other changes in the Act in line with a similar Act promulgated by the Maharashtra government as per the advice of the Centre, the sources added.

As per the decision taken at a high level meeting presided over by chief secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi on February 8 this year, the state government would come up with a notification on corpus fund after the amendment in the OPID Act.

Notably, the state government has formed a corpus fund of Rs 300 crore to refund the money to the duped investors.

It may be recalled that the State Cabinet, in its meeting on April 28 last year had taken a decision to refund the money to the small investors. But it has failed to act on its decision even 10 months after its announcement.

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