Chitgate: Nodal officers to receive refund applications

Bhubaneswar: To avoid any possible discrepancies during the refund process of the multi-thousand crore chit fund scam in the State, the Odisha government has decided to appoint nodal officers to receive the applications from duped investors.

The government has mentioned this in the notification issued today in this regard.

These specially appointed officers will scrutinise and see whether the application forms are duly filled by the investors and have all the supporting documents.

“In the absence of Jan Seva Kendras and access to internet in many rural areas, many investors will submit application forms offline. The nodal officers will check the forms which require details about their investments including nominee, permanent/present address and PAN etc,” an official said.

While the local tehsildars have been designated to accept the application forms from the investors, the latter can apply for refund of their money beginning June 1. The application process will continue till June 21.

Initially, the government has decided to compensate the investors of Rose Valley chit fund firm and the process will be replicated for other Ponzi firms which have duped thousands of investors.

Official sources said the names of all the applicants will be recorded in a register and a designated official will sign at the end of the register on June 21 after completion of the process.

“If the number of applicants exceeds a certain number, the register will be videographed,” the official stated.

Meanwhile the State Finance department said it will soon issue guidelines to prepare a database of the investors. The Collectors of the districts have also been asked to submit a report on how much amount they need for refund to the investors.

However the BJP has criticized the government for failing to complete the refund process in time.

“The government is playing with the sentiments of the poor investors. How much time does it need to refund them their hard earned money? And what about the designated courts it set up to expedite the chit fund scam? The ruling party has failed to keep its promise,” senior BJP leader Bijoy Mohaptra said.

The Congress party has also blamed the government for not living up to the expectations of the investors in the matter.

“The BJD is only buying time. If it was so serious to refund money to gullible investors, it would not have taken seven long months to change to a simple application form,” rued senior Congress leader Tara Prasad Bahinipati.

The ruling BJD has, however, maintained that it will keep its promise by giving back the poor their invested money.