BHUBANESWAR: Scores of investors, duped by several chit fund companies in Odisha, took to the streets here on Wednesday, protesting against the lackadaisical attitude of the government in refunding their imoney.
They said they are still in the dark about benefits of the Rs 300-crore corpus fund, announced by the government in the wake of the huge public outcry over chit fund scams. "Even though the state government has announced a Rs 300-crore corpus fund for the victims, it is yet to issue a formal notification.
"The police have so far kept controversial politicians out of the purview of its investigation even though AT Group chief Pradip Sethy had earlier said he had bribed some politicians for protection," said Jayant Das, convener of the outfit, which organized the rally. .
The protestors accused the police of shielding the politicians and top functionaries involved in the dodgy companies. "The police have netted lower rung employees and agents. Owners and CMDs of many illegal non-banking financial companies are still at large. The government should immediately address the plight of the duped investors by the end of the ongoing assembly session. We are ready to hold discussions with the government on the ossue," said Rabi Das, an adviser of the outfit.
Investors demanded the government to open grievance cells in each block to receive complaints from victims. "Steps should be taken to return the investments of the poor," said Amiya Kanungo, an investor of the AT Group. Holding placards and banners, the protesters marched towards Lower MPG and raised anti-government slogans.
The government is taking steps to protect the interests of the investors. "The commission of inquiry will soon start a probe into the chit fund scam. The Odisha Protection of Interests of Depositors (in financial establishments) Bill, 2011 has got the nod of the president," said a police officer.
The police arrested around 488 people in the past one year in connection with the illegal ponzi business. Around 380 cases were registered against more than 158 companies, the police said. The Union ministry of agriculture and cooperation in June authorized the State Registrar of Cooperative Societies to conduct an inquiry into 15 controversial money circulation companies, including the AT Group, Swastik India and Astha.