Union Home Minister Amit Shah launches portal to facilitate refund of millions of Sahara depositors

Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who is also the Minister of Cooperation, today launched the Central Registrar of Cooperative Societies (CRCS)-Sahara Refund Portal in New Delhi to help the depositors file for refunds of their money stuck in the Sahara group cooperative. 

This portal has been developed for the submission of claims by genuine depositors of Cooperative Societies of Sahara Group – Sahara Credit Cooperative Society Limited, Saharayan Universal Multipurpose Society Limited, Hamara India Credit Cooperative Society Limited and Stars Multipurpose Cooperative Society Limited.

Amit Shah says 1.78 crore small investors will get back their money. Photo Courtesy: PIB

Shah said that approximately 1.78 crore small investors, whose money up to INR 30,000 is stuck, will get their money back.

On this occasion, Union Minister of State for Ministry of Cooperation B.L. Verma, Justice R. Subhash Reddy, former Judge of Supreme Court and Secretary, Ministry of Cooperation, Gyanesh Kumar, along with the depositors of the four cooperative societies of Sahara Group, were also present.

In his address, Amit Shah said that this programme is important because the concerns of people whose hard earned money is stuck in these four co-operative societies were not paid attention.

"In such cases, generally multi-agency seizure often happens but no agency thinks about the investor," Shah said.

He said that this leads to feelings of great insecurity and mistrust towards cooperative societies.

Shah said that crores of people of the country do not have capital but they want to contribute in the development of the country and there is no other way than cooperative movement.

In this direction, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a decision to form a separate Ministry of Cooperation.

He said that co-operative is the only movement in which big works can be done by combining small capital to create big capital of great insecurity and mistrust towards cooperative societies.

Amit Shah said that many times allegations of scams are made and those who invest, their capital gets stuck like Sahara whose example is in front of everyone.

Amit Shah says people who do not have capital but want to contribute in the development of the country have only the cooperative movement to rely on. Photo Courtesy: PIB

He said that the case went on in the Supreme Court for many years, the agencies sealed their properties and accounts, and with this, the credibility of the cooperative societies also get lost.

Shah said Prime Minister Narendra Modi formed a separate Ministry of Cooperation and taking the initiative in this matter discussions were held with all the stakeholders.

He said that it was considered whether a system can be made in which everyone rises above their claims and thinks about small investors.

Shah said that all the agencies together filed a petition in the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court gave a historic decision to form a committee under the chairmanship of a former Supreme Court judge to start the payment process in a transparent manner.

He said that the process of returning the amount of INR 5,000 crore to the investors is starting today in a transparent manner on a trial basis.

He said that after the completion of INR 5,000 crore payment, another appeal will be made in the Supreme Court to return the amount to the remaining investors.

Shah said that through this portal, first payment up to INR 10,000 will be made to one crore investors who had deposited INR 10,000 or more.

He said that complete data of all the four societies is available online for applying on this portal.

He said that all necessary provisions have been made in this process so that there is no scope for any kind of manipulation or injustice to any genuine investor.

Amit Shah said that people who have not made any investments cannot receive any refund in any way from this portal, but those who have invested will receive the refunds for sure.

The Minister of Cooperation instructed that arrangements should be made to file applications through the Common Service Center (CSC).

He requested all the investors to register online through the facility of CSC.

Shah said that there are two main conditions related to the process: first, the investor's Aadhaar card must be linked to their mobile number, and second, the Aadhaar card must be linked to their bank account.

He assured the investors that the money will be deposited into their bank accounts within 45 days.

The Union Minister of Cooperation said that a significant beginning has been made today.

He said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, for the first time, the investors are receiving their money which was stuck due to a scam, in a transparent manner, and it is a very big achievement.

He added that now, crores of people are going to receive their hard-earned money, which was stuck due to scams.

The Supreme Court vide its order dated 29th March 2023 directed that Rs. 5000 Crores be transferred out of the “Sahara-SEBI Refund Account”, to the Central Registrar of Cooperative Societies (CRCS) for disbursement against the legitimate dues of the genuine depositors of the Sahara Group of Cooperative Societies.

The whole process of disbursement is being supervised and monitored by Justice R. Subhash Reddy, Former Judge of Supreme Court with the assistance of Gaurav Agrawal, learned Advocate, Amicus Curiae as per directions of the Supreme Court.

 Four senior Officers on Special Duty (OSDs) have been appointed for each of the above Societies for assisting in the refund process.

The online portal developed for submission of claims is user-friendly, efficient and transparent, Shah claimed. The entire process is digital.

 Necessary checks and balances have been incorporated in the portal to ensure that only the legitimate deposits of the genuine depositors are refunded.

The portal can also be accessed through the Ministry of Cooperation website.

The genuine depositors of these Societies have to submit their claims by filling online application forms available on the portal and upload requisite documents.

The depositors will be verified through Aadhaar card to ensure their identity.

After the verification of their claims and uploaded documents by the appointed Societies, Auditors, and OSDs, the payment to the genuine depositors will be credited in their Bank account within 45 days after filing their online claims, subject to fund availability and they will be intimated the status through SMS/Portal.

The genuine depositors of the Societies are requested to ensure that they have Aadhar linked mobile number and Bank Account along with requisite documents as proof of their claim and deposits.