Kathmandu, May 20
A total of 7,500 claims have been filed at the Problematic Cooperatives Wealth Management Committee seeking compensation from Oriental Cooperative. The committee collected claims from victims from April 16 till today from Biratnagar, Birgunj, Kathmandu, Pokhara, Nepalgunj, Surkhet and Dhangadhi.
“A large number of victims are from Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, Biratnagar and Pokhara based on the claims received by the committee,” Rewati Raman Pokharel, member secretary of the committee told The Himalayan Times.
The committee, led by former chairman of the Special Court Gauri Bahadur Karki, will settle the claims on a case by case basis prioritising depositors; outstanding dues to the government; banks; those that had made advance payments for apartments and those who provided loans for the housing projects, and house owners who rented their houses to Oriental’s offices, in that manner. The victims will be gradually rebated after liquidation of Oriental’s property.
It is reported that Oriental Cooperative and apartment projects initiated by Oriental Builders and Developers and other construction companies initiated by chairman of Oriental Cooperative and realty trader Sudheer Basnet misused an eye-popping Rs 4.20 billion in deposits and Rs 1.36 billion parked by customers for housing projects.
Basnet is currently in police custody. He was operating various companies, including housing projects. His housing projects had collected money from the public promising to provide apartments. The housing projects had even sold flats of multi-storied buildings without acquiring permission from the Department of Urban Development and Building Construction.
Majority of the commercial banks and financial institutions, including government-owned Rastriya Banijya Bank and Employees Provident Fund, had financed Oriental’s housing projects. Banks and financial institutions have also claimed for their principal and interest at the committee, according to Pokharel.
The committee has been given the authority to settle the liability of the cooperative through liquidation of seized property. The Department of Cooperatives has already frozen the property of problematic cooperatives. Travel documents of the promoters of concerned problematic cooperatives have also been seized. Individual property owned by Basnet will also be seized and liquidated in a bid to settle the liability created by the cooperative and apartment projects initiated by Basnet. The committee will also recover the loans floated by Oriental Cooperative. The responsibility of the entire property management falls under the jurisdiction of the committee.
“The committee will calculate the liability by verifying submitted claims while settling the cases,” said Pokharel. “While verifying the claim, documents sought by the committee along with the claims are must. Proof of savings amount in the cooperative; share certificates; proof of loan issued to the construction company and other projects; details of fixed property collateral and citizenship certificate will be properly verified before settling the claims.”
A version of this article appears in print on May 21, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.