Odisha earmarks Rs 300 crore for chitfund-affected depositors

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Finance Minister Pradip Kumar Amat on Thursday said the state is keeping aside Rs 300 crore towards a corpus fund for protecting interest of depositors in the supplementary budget for 2014-15.

“As announced by the government and after the approval of the AG, we have made provision of Rs 300 crore for the purpose of distribution among the small investors,” Amat said while presenting the supplementary budget even as the opposition members agitated in well of the House.

Briefing the media persons on the issue, Additional Chief Secretary, Finance, U N Behera later said the state government has decided to make arrangement so that small investors get back their money.

“The state government will make a guideline to return money to the small and genuine investors based on the suggestions of the Judicial Commission headed by Justice P K Patra which prepares a data base for the purpose,” Behera said.

Meanwhile, Aarthika Sansthamananka Dwara Kshatigrastanka Milita Mancha (ASDKMM), a body of the duped investors claimed that about 40 lakh families have been hit by the scam.

Official sources said the economic offences wing of state CID, Bhubaneswar Commissionerate Police and some district superintendents of police have attached movable and immovable properties of 14 chit fund firms under Odisha Protection of Interest of Depositors Act, that was made into law in August, 2013.

The ponzi companies whose properties have been attached, officials said, are Saradha Group, Artha Tatwa, Seashore Group, Astha Group of Companies, Nabajyoti Realty, Green Ray International, Ashore Group of Companies, SLB Multi State Cooperative, Sastra Enterprises, Safex India, Golden Land Developers, Rose Valley Group and Flourish India.

“Our first priority is to return money to the small and genuine investors,” Behera said.