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Shocked, Stressed, Disbelief: Investors After RBI Takes Over SREI Infra

For investors, moving court is the option as they have heard nothing from the bank despite reaching out to them.

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Video Producer: Varsha Rani
Video Editor:
Mohd. Irshad Alam

On 27 September 2021, the Reserve Bank of India took over SREI Infrastructure Finance and SREI Equipment Finance.

The people who had invested their money are in shock and disbelief.

We spoke to a few investors who are eagerly waiting to get their money back from the firm.

Supal Sarkar, a resident of Jalpaiguri had invested Rs 50,000 in October 2016. The maturity date got over on 6 October 2021, and he has still not recieved the amount.

"We made an investment of Rs 50,000 in SREI Infrastructure Finance Limited in October 2016. To be precise, we invested on 6 October 2016. It was in the cumulative option, which meant that after five years, we were supposed to expect Rs 88,000 at least. We were supposed to get (the return) by 6 October 2021. It’s not just about the maturity. We have not heard from SREI about anything related to my matured value and when will I receive it."
Supal Sarkar, Medical Officer
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We spoke to another investor Harsha, who is based in Mumbai. He told us that, "The promoters are reassuring us by saying that we'll receive our money. Even if you send an email or call their investors relationship cell, they will just inform you that you'll get the amount back and then stall us by giving us further dates."

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Investors Seek Help From Social Media

Many investors are clueless about the fate of their investments and are seeking support on social media by joining various groups.

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"From what I’ve read in newspapers and came to know from my financial advisor is that RBI has dissolved SREI’s Board of Directors. And now, they’ve appointed an administrator who is taking care of SREI’s day-to-day work. But still, we don’t know if we will receive our money or when will we receive it. We have no idea about it. I joined a few Facebook groups as well, where I found others who are undergoing a similar dilemma and have no idea about how they can reach out to SREI. This has caused a lot of distress in my mother’s life and mine as well."
Supal Sarkar, Medical Officer

These investors have formed groups on apps like Telegram and Facebook where they can discuss their issues with people going through the same, hoping to come to a conclusion or deciding what the next step should be.

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Many Dreams Are on Stake 

While talking to the investors, we also came to know that many of them had not received their money since the beginning of this year itself.

"My debentures got matured around March this year. For me, it’s still manageable but what about those whose dreams are dependent on it (money), like buying a house or a car. What are they going to do? And what about those waiting to pay their existing loans? They all are stuck."
Harsh, Engineer

Many of the investors believe that the RBI's solution towards investors was unsatisfactory. Tarun Khurana from Amritsar invested Rs 5 lakh. He strongly feels that there could have been a better way to deal with this situation.

"One thing I’d also like to add is rather than blaming everything on the promoters and the private company, we as investors are neither happy with the company’s stand nor are we happy with RBI's stand. What they have done is also not in the favour of retail investors or any investors. The kind of solutions they've provided, the kind of harsh takeover of a corporation they do, after all this was also a company that was into public finance dealing only."
Tarun Khurana, Self-employed
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Moving Court, the Only Option Left

The investors told us that moving court is the option left as they have heard nothing from the bank even after contacting them so many times.

"RBI has said nothing as of yet in their press releases about the money we’ve invested. First, we’ll wait for RBI to take action and if they do nothing then we will file an appeal in the court. If not the interest, they can at least provide us our capital."
Supal Sarkar, Medical officer
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Topics:  RBI   Kolkata   Money 

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