Depositors asked to file compensation claims

- RAJESH KHANAL, Kathmandu

Feb 22, 2019-

The Problematic Cooperatives Asset Management Committee on Thursday asked the depositors of 10 cooperatives declared ‘troubled’ by the government to file compensation claims. The seven-member panel formed last year has been authorised to settle the liabilities of the cooperatives by liquidating their assets.

In the past year, the committee’s only achievement has been to identify the properties of Oriental Cooperative which went bankrupt in 2013. The cooperative folded after disbursing loans haphazardly and allowing its key promoter, Sudhir Basnet, to illegally invest depositors’ funds in the real estate market which later crashed. The committee has validated the claims of 7,545 applicants including depositors and banks that issued loans to Oriental.

Basnet invested the depositors’ money in 14 housing colonies and apartment buildings and hundreds of ropanis of land in the Kathmandu Valley. The housing estates include Oriental Colony, Chakrapath Heights at Basundhara, Dhumbarahi Apartments Phase 2, Bagmati Apartment at Sankhamul, Eastern Apartment at Kausaltar, Vegas City at Balkumari, Imperial Apartment at Naxal and Sanepa Height Apartment. In November 2017, the government declared Oriental Cooperative a troubled entity. The cooperative is estimated to owe Rs17 billion in deposits, government taxes and bank loans.

Last June, the government added another nine cooperatives in the Kathmandu Valley to the list of troubled entities, and asked the committee to distribute their assets among the creditors. The new entrants to the troubled club are Standard Savings and Credit Cooperative, Prabhu Savings and Credit Cooperative, Consumer Savings and Credit Cooperative, Kuber Savings and Credit Cooperative, Chartered Savings and Credit Cooperative, Vegas Savings and Credit Cooperative, Pacific Savings and Investment Cooperative, Kohinoor Hill Savings and Credit Cooperative, and Standard Multipurpose Cooperative.

Eight months after the cooperatives were put in the troubled list, the committee issued a public notice asking claimants to file claims between February 27 and April 2. Committee spokesperson Rewati Raman Pokharel said the panel was working to identify the actual liabilities of these bankrupt cooperatives. “Depositors of Oriental Cooperative who missed filing claims last year can do so now,” Pokharel said. According to Pokharel, the committee has confiscated the office equipment and computer software of Consumer Cooperative, Kuber Cooperative and Standard Savings and Credit Cooperative.

Published: 22-02-2019 11:11

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