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WB govt tables bill to protect depositors

Kolkata, April 30, 2013, DHNS: 2:03 IST
Protest against the chit fund scam. File Photo
The West Bengal government on Tuesday introduced a new piece of legislation in the Assembly to protect the depositors from non-banking financial organisations that lure them with promises of high returns, following the Saradha Chitfunds scam.

The government introduced the new legislation after withdrawing a similar bill brought in by the previous Left Front government.

In a two-day special session of the Assembly, state finance minister Amit Mitra tabled the “The West Bengal Protection of interest of depositors in Financial Establishment Bill- 2013’, which, according to the government, has sufficient teeth to punish fraudsters. State parliamentary Affairs Minister Partha Chatterjee said, “Once the bill becomes an act, the new legislation will be able to effectively deal with scams like the Saradha Group. The new bill will be more stringent and empower authorities to confiscate and not merely attach the assets of perpetrators of frauds".

Earlier, the Assembly passed a resolution to withdraw a bill passed during the Left Front rule. Introducing the motion in the House, Chatterjee said that in 2009, the bill was passed in the Assembly but the governor has not given the nod. He said that the Centre had returned the bill as it had been decided to recast the legislation in order to strengthen it.
Opposing the motion, Leader of the Opposition Surya Kanta Mishra said, “The Bill is lying with the President of the country. How can the Centre intervene? The Centre has no constitutional right to interfere.

“Since the bill was passed in the House, the communication route should have been from the President to the governor and then to the Speaker,” Mishra said. In his reply, Chatterjee held that the Left Front did nothing to deal with fraudulent companies.

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