KOCHI: More than 5,000 field workers, including a large number of women, of Pearls Agrotech Corporation Ltd (PACL), which cheated investors of Rs 60,000 crore, converged outside the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) office near Kaloor on Tuesday demanding immediate payment of money illegally collected by PACL. KN Gopinath, CITU’s state secretary, who inaugurated the march said, investors in Kerala lost at least Rs 500 crore in the scam. Investors were promised returns on investment in agricultural land.
Gopinath said SEBI was assigned by the government to reimburse the investments of PACL’s collective investment schemes (CIS). The order was passed by a committee headed by former Chief Justice of India RM Lodha about three years ago. PACL had been paying the investors without fail for 31 years, after its closure the payments came to a standstill. SEBI has to repay an amount of Rs 500 crore to PACL’s investors in Kerala, he said.
Speaking to the crowd comprising both PACL agents and investors, K Ashokan, state CITU convener, said the investors want refunds to be made by April 15. “Otherwise steps will be taken to close down SEBI. The investors were asked to produce PAN cards and other original documents to avail the refunds, but there are several small investors without such documents and several others who have lost these documents during the Kerala floods.
The investors are required to upload these documents on an official website by April 30. This becomes rather impossible to do with the large number of investors logging on and causing the website to hang, he said. The PACL case involves 55 million investors across the country, as per reports.