Process for identification of small investors to begin by Mar 15

Bhubaneswar: With the approval of the State Cabinet in the amendment of some provisions of the Odisha Protection of Interests of Depositors (in Financial Establishments) Act, 2011, the Odisha government has decided to start the process of identifying the small investors, allegedly duped by different ponzi firms, in the next two weeks.

Informing the media on Saturday, Finance minister Pradip Amat said the process of identification of small investors would begin by March 15.

“The application would be received online from the small investors for which the Odisha Computer Application Centre (OCAC) has developed a software and engaged Luminous Infoways Pvt Ltd to receive online applications at the Jan Suvidha Kendras. Priority would be given for refund of money to the small investors who had invested not more than Rs 10,000 in the chit fund companies. We will try our best to ensure that the small and genuine investors get the justice,” the minister said.

While Justice Madan Mohan Das Commission of Inquiry, probing into the chit fund scam, has received applications from 8.17 lakh investors, the database of these investors is being prepared by the OCAC.

However, the Opposition political parties have doubts in the announcement of the government to refund the money to the small investors.

“The state government is trying to create problems in the entire process in the refund of money to the investors which is a wrong decision. If the government has instituted a commission of inquiry, it should vest the power to the Commission to take its decision. If it wants to take up the matter on its own, it should wind up the Commission. I think the government is trying to delay the process as far as it could,” senior BJP leader Bijay Mahapatra told OTV.

In his reaction, senior Congress leader Ganeswar Behera said the state government in October last year had announced that it would refund money to the small investors on priority.

“If the government was so keen on this, what problem it had in identifying the small investors at that time? It seems that either this idea had not struck the government or if it had, it did not do it as it has no sincerity,” he pointed out.

In the meanwhile, sources in the Finance department said a notification would be issued very soon for confiscation of properties of Rose Valley Group.

While 23 cases against 21 ponzi firms are sub-judice, the court has ordered confiscation of properties of five firms.