No End To Misery Of Chit-Fund Depositors In Odisha?

Bhubaneswar: In what can be considered as a major blow to hopes of large depositors who had lost their investment of more than Rs 10,000 in various ponzi schemes in Odisha, the State Minister on Monday informed the Assembly that as of now the government has no such provisions to ensure refund of the duped money of such depositors.

In an answer to a query by Khandapada MLA and BJD leader Soumya Ranjan Patnaik in the Assembly regarding the chit-fund scam, Pujari informed, “The revised terms of reference provided in the Home department notification to Justice M M Das Commission for enquiry into Chit Fund Scam doesn’t have any provision to return any amount to the large depositors.”

Meanwhile, the announcement which has come as a blow to the depositors whose last flutter of hope was dissipated with this declaration by the FM has sparked resentment among the general public.

While some depositors alleged that they were made to wait for seven years and then left stranded by the Odisha government, some are yet to recover from the shock of never getting back their hard earned money.

One such depositor duped by the ponzi scheme in Berhampur said, “The government has seized the property of a lot of chit-fund companies in the past. Why don’t they sell them and distribute the money among us?”

He further said that the government should immediately change its stance on the large depositors and treat every depositor at par.

“I am deeply hurt after the announcement by the state finance minister. The government should change its decision as soon as possible otherwise we will be forced to take to the streets,” threatened another duped investor.

Speaking to OTV, Jayant Das, the Convenor of Chit-fund Khyatigrasta Milita Manch said, “Pujari was the same man who hadn’t allowed to discuss the matter in Assembly while he was the speaker. So people can’t expect much from him.”

Soumya Ranjan Patnaik had another question pertaining to the cost incurred to the state exchequer by this whole depositor identification process by Justice M M Das which has been on since the last seven years.

As per Pujari’s own admission in the house, a total of Rs 6,19,72,538 was spent on the enquiry commission, salary and allowances of its employees, the digitisation of affidavits obtained from the depositors and other miscellaneous expenses from 2013-14 to 2019-20.