Chit fund scam: New bill on protecting investor interest to have more teeth



Chit fund scam: New bill on protecting investor interest to have more teeth Kolkata: Stringent measures, including seizure and confiscation of property, have been proposed to protect investors from money spooling companies in the much-awaited bill being moved by the West Bengal government following the Saradha Group scam.

Copies of the bill, to be moved by Finance Minister Amit Mitra tomorrow for consideration and passage, were circulated among members on the first day of a two-day special session of the Assembly on Monday.

The West Bengal Protection of Interest of Depositors in Financial Establishments Bill, 2013, has provisions for powers to enter premises and inspect documents and search and seizure and confiscation of property.

Though Parliamentary Affairs Minister Partha Chatterjee had yesterday said the bill will have retrospective effect, the word 'retrospective' is not used in the bill.

But the bill says that a designated court which will look into these issues "may give direction to the competitive authority like the director of Economic Offences, for effective implementation of the provisions, sources said.

The bill has been framed to protect depositor interest, to regulate and to impose restrictions on such financial establishments to curb unscrupulous activities and to make liable every person, including promoter, partner, director, manager and employee, responsible for the management.

The competent authority shall, after making an assessment of the deposit liabilities, apply before the designated court from time to time seeking permission for making payment to depositors from out of the money realised.

The designated court shall be presided by a judge to be appointed by the state government with concurrence of the chief justice of the Calcutta High Court.

The earlier West Bengal Protection of Depositors Interest Bill 2009 introduced by the previous Left Front government on December 22, 2009 will be withdrawn.

PTI