The Union Government, led by Union home minister and minister of cooperation Amit Shah, launches the CRCS-Sahara Refund Portal in Delhi today. The portal aims to help crores of depositors associated with the Sahara Group claim their money back.
Background and Supreme Court Order
The Ministry of Cooperation filed an application in the Supreme Court on July 17 to address the grievances of genuine members/depositors of Sahara Group’s cooperative societies. The Supreme Court, in its order on March 29, 2023, directed the transfer of Rs 5000 crores from the ‘Sahara-SEBI Refund Account’ to the Central Registrar of Cooperative Societies (CRCS) for disbursement against legitimate dues of the genuine depositors of Sahara Group of Cooperative Societies.
Purpose of CRCS-Sahara Refund Portal
The CRCS-Sahara Refund Portal has been developed to address the genuine claims of depositors who had invested money in Sahara Group’s cooperative societies, which include Sahara Credit Cooperative Society Ltd., Saharayan Universal Multipurpose Society Ltd., Humara India Credit Cooperative Society Ltd., and Stars Multipurpose Cooperative Society Ltd.
CRCS-Sahara Refund Portal Link and Functionality
The link to the CRCS-Sahara Refund Portal is available on the website of the Ministry of Cooperation (https://cooperation.gov.in/). However, the online link of the portal was not functional as of 2.40 pm on July 18.
Refund Process and Amount
In the initial phase, the refund portal will disburse up to Rs 5000 crore to depositors. Each depositor will be able to get a maximum of Rs 10,000 in the first phase. Initially, Rs 10,000 will be returned to investors on a trial basis, with the possibility of increasing the refund amount if the trial succeeds.
Eligibility and Claim Process
Approximately 1 crore and 7 lakh investors can register on the refund portal and claim up to Rs 10,000 during the initial phase. There are a total of 4 crore depositors eligible to claim up to Rs 10,000. To make a claim, depositors’ Aadhaar should be linked to their mobile numbers and bank accounts. Deposit receipts must also be provided. Depositors will be required to download a form, fill it, and re-upload it on the portal for further processing of the refund.
Timelines and Future Initiatives
Amit Shah assured that the money would be deposited into the bank accounts of the claimants within 45 days. Once this initiative succeeds, further decisions to address claims of depositors with larger sums stuck in the Sahara Group’s cooperative societies will be taken. The entire process of refund will be conducted online to streamline and expedite the proceedings.