State govt to set up Rs 300cr corpus fund for chit fund victims

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government announced on Tuesday that it would create a corpus fund of Rs 300 crore to help chit fund victims in the state. The government also said it has appointed former chief justice of Sikkim High Court and former chairman Odisha Human Rights Commission Justice R K Patra to head the panel that will probe the chit fund scam.
 
The state government, in consultation with the Orissa High Court, is also going to set up special courts for speedy trial of cases to the scam. Besides, special prosecutors will be engaged to handle such cases.
 
“We will ensure free and fair investigation into all the chit-fund related cases,” said the statement issued by the office of chief minister Naveen Patnaik.
 
"We are putting in place a strong legal and financial arrangement so that people do not suffer undue losses. This will also include creation of a corpus fund up to Rs 300 crore to protect the interest of genuine small investors", the statement added.
 
It further stated the state government has been in touch with the Government of India for the Presidential assent of the Odisha Protection of Interest of Depositors (in financial establishment) Bill 2011.
 
The government also decided to open cells in every district in the office of the superintendents of police (SP).
 
"SPs have been directed to meet complaints on regular basis," the statement said.
 
Meanwhile, PCC president Jayadev Jena criticised the state government's decision. "How the corpus fund of Rs 300 crore is going to help around 20,000 people in the state who have been duped crores of rupees by the chit fund companies?" asked Jena.
 
Earlier, on May 30, the Odisha government had ordered a judicial probe into the alleged chit fund scam in the state.
 
According to the state government estimates, around 6.90 lakh people have been duped to the tune Rs 4,375 crore by the unscrupulous chit fund companies. Around 280 cases have been registered against 127 companies with various police stations across the state as well as the Economic offences wing of the Crime Branch.