Opp demands early refund of money to duped investors

Bhubaneswar: For the first time, Opposition political parties joined hands with the Arthika Sansthamananka Dwara Khyatigrasta Milita Manch, a body of investors duped by chit fund companies, today to urge the Odisha government to expedite the process to refund money to victims of the scam.

Addressing a convention organised by the Manch here, the leaders of the Opposition demanded that the government must formulate a policy to refund the money to investors after convening an all-party meeting, raise the amount of the corpus fund from Rs 300 crore to Rs 2000 crore and identify the duped investors at the tehsil level.

“The duped investors can get back their money at the earliest If the state government convenes an all-party meeting and takes a decision in this regard in consultation with the think-tanks and senior bureaucrats,” senior Congress leader and Opposition leader Narasingh Mishra told media persons after the convention.

“Since it has now been proved that the money of lakhs of families has been looted with the knowledge of the state government, the government cannot shirk its responsibility. And this is why the state government is not taking up the matter seriously,” said Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, advisor of the Manch.

BJP leader Prithviraj Harichandan said it is possible to refund the money to the duped investors. It all depends on the will power of the state government. “But it still remains unclear as to what is the modus operandi of the government. The government should make its intention clear,” he observed.

In his reaction, BJD spokesperson Pratap Keshari Deb said the apprehension and illusionof the members of the Manch that the state government is not concerned about the plight of the duped investors, is baseless.

“The members the Manch should know that the state government has enacted a new law and formed a commission of inquiry and formed a corpus fund of Rs 300 crore to refund the money to the investors. Apart from this, the state government is acting as per the CBI investigation and has initiated the process of confiscation of properties of the chit fund companies. In spite of these efforts, if the opposition leaders and the Manch members still have doubts in their minds, it is grossly unfortunate,” Deb said.

The Manch siad it will launch an awareness drive in the state from May 15 to June 12 and organise a mega convention in the capital city in November.