November 27: The Office of the Problematic Cooperative Management Committee (OPCMC) has issued a fresh notice to the depositors of Oriental Cooperative, which has been declared problematic by the government, to update the amounts embezzled by the cooperative.
Issuing a public notice on Friday, OPCMC has urged the depositors to update the office within 15 days regarding the money they are entitled to receive from the cooperative.
The OPCMC has already collected the details of the amount embezzled by the cooperative. However, OPCMC Member Secretary Keshav Prasad Poudel said that the government body decided to seek details again to update the claims made by the depositors after the cooperative was declared problematic for the second time.
“We have already collected the details. We are seeking the details from the depositors for the second time just to cross-check whether they match with the details submitted earlier,” Poudel told New Business Age.
Poudel informed that the victims can update the claims through the OPCMC website.
According to the Problematic Cooperative Management Committee’s Office, Oriental Cooperative Ltd had amassed savings of over Rs 10 billion through its nine branches across the country and misappropriated the deposits.
The cooperative was first declared problematic on November 6, 2017 after it went bankrupt. According to the committee chief Keshab Prasad Poudel, 7,646 members approached the committee office demanding its intervention to get back their deposits.
The cooperative also faced a case at the Supreme Court for the ‘misappropriation’ of the deposits. Responding to the case, the apex court on February 23, 2020 ordered the cooperative to address the issue. But the implementation of the court verdict is still awaited.
Assessing that the cooperative is not serious towards addressing the issue, the Ministry of Cooperatives on September 23, 2022 declared it ‘problematic’ for the second time. Following the declaration, former chair of the cooperative Sudhir Basnet has been arrested.
During his inquiry, Basnet revealed his association with ‘Kohinoor Hill Saving and Credit Co-operative Limited’, ‘Consumer Savings and Credit Cooperative Ltd’, and the ‘Vegas Savings and Credit Cooperative Ltd’ which have also been identified as ‘problematic’ by the government.
So far, Oriental Cooperative is found to have collected the deposits by establishing its branches in Nepalgunj, Pokhara, Dang, Surkhet, Kathmandu, Biratnagar, Itahari, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur.
The government has declared 12 cooperatives as ‘problematic’.