Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Odisha government has begun the process of refund to small depositors duped in the multi-crore chit-fund scam in state.

The State government had set up a Rs 300-crore corpus fund in 2013 to refund affected-depositors.

The Justice MM Das Commission has submitted four interim reports to the State goverment in which it has identified 1, 16,504 small depositors.

Initially investors with deposits of less than Rs 10,000 will get the refund, regarding which the Finance department Secretary, in a letter, has asked district Collectors to begin the process.

Finance Minister, Sashibhusan Behera stated, “Money will be refunded to small depositors and there should not be any doubt about that.”

Small depositors have been identified on basis of interim report 1 and 2 submitted by the commission to the State government, informed sources.

In Balasore, as many as 2,306 small depositors in 12 blocks have been identified who will get refunds after submission of an indemnity bond.

Balasore Additional Collector, Manas Kumar Padhi stated, “After securing indemnity bonds, money will be distributed to the small depositors. Money has been released to Tehsildars for the purpose.”

However, questions are being raised as to why it took the State government so long while the corpus fund announcement was made in 2013. Moreover, only investors in Rose Valley chit fund have been identified while doubts persist over the investors in 16 other chit fund companies.

“When the State has no information on the number of chit fund companies that were doing business, how all the depositors will be identified? The government is only hoodwinking people and trying to get political mileage ahead of the 2019 polls,” said a duped investor, Gyanaranjan Behera