Bhubaneswar: Fast track courts will be set up to ensure time-bound trial of chit fund cases in Odisha, state Finance Minister Prasanna Acharya said on Saturday.
"We have decided to set up fast track courts and appoint special public prosecutors to dispose of chit fund and money circulation cases in a time bound manner," Acharya told a press conference.
Noting that chit fund and money circulation trade have spread like a disease in many states, he said, "The state government is determined to deal with them firmly."
So far 177 cases have been registered against 85 companies and 170 people arrested, the minister said.
Raids were being made on different companies across the state, Acharya said, adding that the government was yet to ascertain the amount of money duped by chit fund and money circulation companies.
Asked whether depositors would get back their money, he said the state government had no proposal of forming any corpus fund for it.
The state government will make arrangement for return of money after the Odisha Protection of Interests of Depositors (in financial establishments) Bill-2011 receives President`s assent, Acharya said.
"We are hopeful that the Bill will get President`s assent within a month," he added. Asked about alleged involvement of ministers, MLAs and influential persons, Acharya said, "Stringent action will be taken irrespective of position and the police are going through the charges (against individuals)."
Acharya defended Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik who had shared dais with the CMD of a chit fund company at a function in 2011.
"The chief minister had attended the function of an Odia television channel and not of any chit fund company as alleged by Union Minister Srikant Jena," he said.
Meanwhile, the police have requested 12 nationalised banks to freeze about 230 bank accounts of Artha Tatwa group and its CMD Pradip Sethi.
The accounts are in various banks in different places both inside and outside the state, DCP Nitinjit Singh said.