Naveen pins hopes on Prez assent to Bill on chit fund

Bhubaneswar: Even as gullible investors in the State are reeling under the multi-crore chit fund scam, the State government is pinning hopes on the Presidential assent to the Odisha Protection of Interest of Depositors (in financial establishment) Bill, 2011.
 
“Of course we are taking it (chit fund scam) very seriously and I think the Presidential assent to the Bill in the future will give some relief to them (investors),” chief minister Naveen Patnaik said after returning from his 4-day Delhi trip.
 
 A fortnight ago Patnaik had written a letter to the Union Home Minister seeking his intervention for an early Presidential assent to the Bill protecting depositors’ interests.
 
“In view of the urgency, I am drawing your personal attention for expediting Presidential assent to the Odisha Protection of Interest of Depositors (in financial establishment) Bill, 2011,” Patnaik had said in the letter to Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde.
 
Notably the State Assembly had passed the Odisha Protection of Interests of Depositors (in financial establishments), on December 17, 2011 and it was sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs on April 3, 2012.
 
After examination and inter—ministerial consultation, the MHA sought some clarifications from the State government on the Bill on December 27, 2012, which the government sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs on April 2, 2013.
 
The Bill, which is yet to get Presidential assent contained extensive safeguards for protecting small investors from fraudulent financial entities.
 
Meanwhile, four days back the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Odisha Crime Branch in two successive raids had sealed immovable properties worth over Rs4 crore owned by Seashore group.  
 
The Commissionerate Police on Monday had unearthed Artha Tatwa group-owned properties worth Rs 130 crore. The properties include 234 acres of land involving as many as 353 plots which spread over six districts such as Khurda, Ganjam, Angul, Puri, Balasore and Bhadrakh, police sources said.
 
“Once the chit fund Bill gets President’s assent, it will be easy to liquidate the seized assets of the scrupulous firms and refund the depositors’ money,” said a senior CB official wishing anonymity.