The Union Government, led by Union Home Minister and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah, opens the CRCS-Sahara Refund Portal in Delhi. The objective of the portal is to aid millions of Sahara Group depositors in recovering their funds.
Context and Ruling of the Supreme Court
On July 17, the Ministry of Cooperation petitioned the Supreme Court to settle the claims of real members/depositors of Sahara Group cooperative organizations.The Supreme Court, in its March 29, 2023 order, instructed the transfer of Rs 5000 crores from the ‘Sahara-SEBI Refund Account’ to the Central Registrar of Cooperative Societies (CRCS). This transfer aims to fulfill the rightful obligations of genuine depositors belonging to the Sahara Group of Cooperative Societies.
CRCS-Sahara Refund Portal’s Objective
The CRCS-Sahara Refund Portal was established with the purpose of handling valid claims from depositors in Sahara Group 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.
The CRCS-Sahara Refund Portal Link and its Functionality
To access the CRCS-Sahara Refund Portal, visit the Ministry of Cooperation’s website at https://cooperation.gov.in/. As of July 18, at 2:40 pm, the online link to the portal was not operational.
Refund Process and Amount Distribution
During the initial phase, the refund portal will disburse up to Rs 5000 crore to depositors. Each depositor is eligible for a maximum refund of Rs 10,000 in this phase. Initially, a trial basis will refund Rs 10,000 to investors, with the possibility of increasing the amount based on the trial’s success.
Eligibility and Claim Procedure
During the initial phase, about 1 crore and 7 lakh eligible investors out of a total of 4 crore can register on the refund portal and receive up to Rs 10,000.
To initiate a claim, depositors must link their Aadhaar to their mobile numbers and bank accounts. Additionally, they must provide deposit receipts. A form will be available for download, which depositors need to fill and re-upload on the portal for further processing of their refund.
Timelines and Future Prospects
Amit Shah has assured that claimants will receive the refunded amount within 45 days, directly into their bank accounts. After the successful implementation of this initiative, further decisions will be made to address claims of depositors with larger sums stuck in the Sahara Group’s cooperative societies. The entire refund process will be conducted online to streamline and expedite the proceedings.