Odisha doesn't need new law to deal with NBFIs: Govt



Bhubaneswar: Ruling out any new legislation to curb cheating of small investors in Odisha, Finance Minister Prasanna Acharya today said the 2011 Bill which was awaiting Presidential assent was sufficient to deal with the situation.

Acharya was responding to the demand by opposition Congress for bringing a new legislation on the lines of West Bengal to deal with duping of investors by non-banking financial institutions (NBFIs) following the Saradha chitfund scam.

"We demand a stringent law to deal with such situation. West Bengal government has already passed a strong Bill in this regard," Narsingha Mishra, the chairman of the Congress media cell, said.

Acharya, however, ruled out any new legislation as the State Assembly in December 2011 had already passed Orissa Protection of Interests of Depositors (in financial establishment) Bill, 2011.

He said the Bill is pending President's assent. "We have already submitted certain clarification to the Centre in regards to the pending Bill," he said.

The finance minister said the state government was waiting for the President's assent. "Once the Bill gets President's nod, the state government can take steps against the NBFIs looting gullible investors," Acharya said.

The state Government had formulated the Bill on the lines of a similar legislation in Tamil Nadu. "The Supreme Court has already validated TN's law. Therefore, our Bill should not face any legal hurdle," said finance secretary J K Mohapatra.

The Bill has provision of confiscating properties of the companies found cheating people in the name of investment. The persons found guilty of cheating public was liable for 10-years imprisonment besides penalty, Mohapatra said.

Meanwhile, the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) of the Crime Branch of Odisha Police recorded statements of investors in the Saradha Group at Balasore while some agents working with the company in Puri today staged a demonstration.

"The police should break the seal at the office of Saradha Group and verify its computers to ascertain more about the fraud," agents said in a memorandum to Superintendent of Police, Puri.

PTI