Mrunal Manmay Dash

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has issued a notification amending the terms of reference for the commission of inquiry entrusted with the task of identification of depositors affected by the chit fund scam in the state.

The Home Department has issued a notice to the MM Das Commission of Inquiry asking it to 'identify the bona fide small investors affected by the unauthorised financial transactions of fraudulent financial establishment/companies and suggest the modality of payment of compensation, the names of small investors eligible for compensation and the amount of compensation payable from the corpus fund set up by the government.'

The original terms of reference was to identify all the beneficiaries irrespective of their deposit amount, but the recent amendment by the state government has raised serious concerns among the depositors.

Thanking OTV for bringing the issue to the fore, Jayant Das, Convener of Chit Fund Depositors’ Association said, “The provision was to repay the beneficiaries with the auctioned amount of the attached properties of the chit fund companies. But the government didn’t pay it then and has now asked the panel to identify only small depositors. It’s a conspiracy to cheat us.”

Finance Secretary Ashok Meena said, "We are reviewing the cases every month and have directed district collectors to act accordingly. Government will have to be cautious in identifying actual losers."

On the other hand, after changing term of reference Opposition parties have targetted the State government.

BJP State Secretary Lekhashree Samantsinghar said, "The State government was never in a mood to return the chit fund amount to people. It is only busy in cheating the people."

"The Odisha government has cheated the affected people. They should have told in the beginning itself that the money can't be recovered. The chit fund money has gone into the pockets of MLAs and ministers. Congress ministers will raise voice against this scam, " said Congress MLA Sura Routray.