Chit fund panel submits interim report; Opp dubs it poll gimmick

Bhubaneswar: A day after Odisha government issued a notification to facilitate refund of investors’ money in Rose Valley chit fund company, the Justice MM Das Commission of Inquiry probing into the multi-thousand crore chit fund scam in the State submitted an interim report to the Odisha government on Wednesday.

Debraj Rout, secretary to the Commission who submitted the report to Principal Secretary, Home Asit Tripathy,, declined to divulge any details, saying; “I have not seen what the Commission has mentioned in its report, which is confidential. But from my association with the office work, I can only say that it is an interim report regarding payment to the small time investors.”

Highly placed sources said the report has been made after preparing a database of about 26,976 affidavits of investors, who have deposited Rs 10,000 or less in the Ponzi scheme. The Commission has received a total of about eight lakh affidavits.

In the process it had issued notice to 88 such companies for defrauding the people.

However, Opposition parties and organisations fighting for the investors’ interest termed Wednesday’s development as a political gimmick.

“Every other day, the government wants to show that it is concerned about the poor investors. It is merely a political gimmick before the panchayat polls next year. They just want to keep hope alive in the minds of the investors,” said Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, who is spearheading a federation of investors.

The Congress party has echoed Patnaik.

“We all know that the ruling party is prolonging the refund process. If it had any real intention to give money back to the investors, the State government would not have waited seven months to bring small changes in a simple application format,” said a Congress leader.

The BJD has countered the charge saying it is following the procedure laid down by the Commission.

“We only aim to refund money to the poor people and the people will soon see this,” BJD spokesperson Sashi Bhusan Behera said.