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Odisha police to take up chit fund issue with WB counterpart

Bhubaneswar: With investors hitting the streets across Odisha demanding return of their deposits with Saradha Group, the state government today asked the police crime branch to take up the matter with their West Bengal counterparts.

The government also instructed the police to take help of RBI and SEBI to nail the ponzy scheme outfits.

"The Economic Offence Wing (EOW) of the crime branch of police will take up the matter relating to Saradha Group's operation in Odisha with West Bengal police. The EOW may hire officials from RBI and SEBI on deputation for investigation into such cases," additional chief secretary J K Mohapatra, who is also the finance secretary, said here.

He said the state government would certainly work for protecting the interests of the people.

Earlier in the day, large number of depositors of the Saradha Group demonstrated in Balasore and Puri towns.

The chit fund group has closed its offices at both places and though many investors have lodged complaints with the EOW in Puri and Balasore, police are yet to register a case anywhere in the state. .

Replying to a question, Mohapatra said the government would not be able to return the amount deposited by people now due to lack of adequate law in this regard.

"We have been waiting for the President's assent on Orissa Protection of Interests of Depositors (in financial establishment) Bill, 2011. We hope it will get President's assent soon," he said.

The Bill has provision of attaching properties of fraud NBFIs and distributing the amount among the small depositors, he said, adding that an awareness campaign would be launched to alert the people about NBFIs and how to make safe investments.

Earlier Mohapatra presided over the second meeting of the coordination committee on operation of NBFIs in the state.

The meeting resolved to strengthen the EOW and was attended by Additional DGP (crime) B K Sharma members from SEBI, RBI and Register of Company.

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