After the demise of Subrata Roy, the founder of Sahara Group, scores of depositors in Odisha are now a confused lot. They are apprehensive and haunted by questions if they will ever get back their deposits even after the launching of the portal by Union Home Minister Amit Shah in July to return the money.
They are also doubtful if the return process will get further delayed.
While no official assurance was given by the Sahara Group to the depositors after his demise, the investors are of the view that they can get back their money with the intervention of the state and central governments.
Bijay Padhi, the Odisha unit president of the Sahara Jamakari Manch said, “If the mindset of the state and central governments is clear, depositors can get back their money. Sahara has huge assets in the country and abroad. Only clear intention & strong will of the government will help the depositors.”
Baijayanti Mohanty, a Sahara agent said, “Deposits worth Rs 3 lakh of mine and Rs 10 lakh of my customers are stuck in Sahara. I had hoped to get back my money after the web portal was launched. If the Union Government wants, we can get back our money.”
Gangadhar Rout, a Sahara depositor in Balasore observed that after the passing away of Subrata Roy, depositors are anxious again. "It is natural on the part of the depositors to have apprehensions and worries when a head of the company or family dies," he said.
Notably, Rs 24,000 crore of Sahara was deposited with the SEBI. Following a directive from the Supreme Court in March this year, SEBI had returned Rs 5,000 crore to Sahara. Thereafter, the Sahara refund portal was launched by Union Home Minister Amit Shah on July 18 to start the return of deposits to small investors. Online registration was initiated to return money to 1.7 crore depositors with deposits within Rs 10,000. This had given a new ray of hope for lakhs of investors.
Jayant Das, convener of 'Chit Fund Khyatigrastha Jamakari Milita Mancha,' said that Sahara has taken away Rs 6,400 crore from Odisha. “Our Manch has fought, is fighting, and will be fighting till the last depositor gets back the money,” he asserted.
However, financial expert Chittaranjan Behera said, “The demise of Subrata Roy will in no way impact the return process of the money to depositors because it is being monitored by the Supreme Court. The company is active now. Sahara’s money is at the disposal of the SEBI. Depositors should keep in touch with the SEBI.”