As the chit fund scam became increasingly embarrassing for the State Government, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday announced creation of a corpus fund up to `300 cr to protect the interest of the genuine small investors. The Government also named Justice RK Patra, retired Chief Justice of Sikkim High Court and former chairman, Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC), to head the commission of inquiry into the chit fund scam. The State Government had requested the Orissa High Court to spare a sitting judge to head the panel. However, the court had expressed its inability to spare a judge for the probe.
“Under no circumstances will my Government allow the genuine investors to suffer loss of their hard earned money,” the Chief Minister announced and added that the State Government is putting in place a strong legal and financial arrangement so that people do not suffer undue losses.
Stating that the State Government will ensure free and fair investigation into all the chit fund related cases, the Chief Minister said the High Court will also be moved for constitution of some special courts for speedy trial of all these cases. Special prosecutors will be engaged for effective handling of such cases.
Cells will function in every district in SP’s office Besides, the SPs have been directed to meet complainants on a regular basis. The State Government is closely following up with the Centre for the Presidential assent of the Odisha Protection of Interest of Depositors (in financial establishment) Bill, 2011, he said.
The Congress, however, alleged that the Chief Minister’s announcement is another way of cheating the people. By constituting a judicial probe and creating a corpus fund, Naveen is trying to create a false impression in the minds of the depositors that their investment may be recovered, senior party leader Narasingh Mishra said, adding that his purpose will never be served.
The Biju Yuva Janata Dal (BYJD) has, however, welcomed the decision. The announcement is a historic one and will help small investors, BYJD president Sanjay Dasburma said.