SPs, Collectors told to keep watch on non-banking firms

Bhubaneswar: In its bid to save gullible investors in the state, the Odisha government on Monday asked the District Collectors and Superintendents of Police (SPs) to keep vigil on activities of non-banking companies collecting public deposits.

The decision in this regard was taken at a meeting of the State Level Coordination Committee on checking illegal public deposit and money circulation activities, under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary A P Padhi.

The issues related to stopping of illegal public deposit by non-banking companies, duping people under the pretext of higher returns and rewards against the deposits, new ways adopted by vested interest groups to cheat people, collection of money by multi-state cooperative societies were discussed and strategies were worked out to check such activities, an official said.

Padhi directed Special Director General of Crime Branch of Odisha Police B K Shrama to ask the SPs and Collectors to keep tab on the activities of the non-banking financial entities including multi-state cooperative societies and fake insurance companies who were trying to cheat the people.

Inspector in-charge of all police stations and SPs have been asked to give a monthly report on this aspect and take proactive action to prohibit these activities, the official said.

The Chief Secretary directed the Registrar, Cooperative Societies to ban collection of deposits from nominal members by cooperative societies and stop all illegal collection through cooperative societies.

Development Commissioner and Additional Chief Secretary Finance R Balakrishnan suggested bringing about necessary amendments in the cooperative rules enabling the authority to impose punitive actions against the offenders.

Balakrishnan also emphasised on intensification of the investors awareness camp and financial literacy at Panchayat and village levels, the official said.

Regional director RBI P K Jena said almost all major Odia dailies accepted the request that they would not carry advertisements given by such companies.

Padi said all agencies dealing with public advertisements would also be requested accordingly.

It was found in the meeting that a new trend of money cheating had started from the neighbouring states under the guise of producer companies, the official said.

The list of such incorporated companies were collected from the Registrar of Companies and sent to all SPs with the direction to keep close watch on their activities, he said.

Meanwhile, the SEBI has passed orders against 23 entities in Odisha for illegal public fund mobilisation.

Officials said as many as 217 illegal companies operating in Odisha have been taken to task through various agencies like State Economic Offence Wing, Crime Branch and other State Police stations. The cases were being followed up expeditiously for attachment of properties of these companies, officials said.