Chitgate: Bid to refund duped investors

Bhubaneswar: In its bid to expedite the process of returning money to the small investors who lost their deposits to chit fund companies, the Odisha government today asked the additional district magistrates to finalize the price of the attached properties within 7 days, official sources said.

The direction in this regard was issued by chief secretary G C Pati while presiding over a meeting here. The ADMs, who are competent authorities in the case, of five chitfund-hit districts also attended the meeting through video conferencing.

“The govenrment has asked them (ADMs) to speed up the process so that the investors get back their deposits without further delay. The departments of law and finance have been asked to prepare modalities to refund money to the investors,” Pati told reporters.

Pati said the valuation of the properties attached by the crime branch of police under the provision of the Odisha Protection of the Interests of the Depositors Act (OPID) Act need to be made before putting on public auction after due approval of the designated courts.

The Economic Offense Wing of the Crime Branch of Police has initiated investigation against 190 financial establishments.

The finance department has already issued interim attachment orders against 19 companies. A total number of 21 cases against these financial establishments have been put to prosecution out of which attachments orders of two cases have been made absolute by designated courts.

“We Have already got permission from the courts to put properties of two chitfund companies on auction. The amount of properties to be auction could be about Rs 60 crore,” said a senior official of Crime Branch of Police.

Meanwhile, a joint forum of duped investors which has launched several protests for return of their money, has threatened to restore to civil disobedience if their demands are not met.