Shyamal Chakraborty, State President of CITU, on Friday said that over 60 chit fund companies operating in West Bengal have mobilised an estimated Rs 15,000 crore from small investors.

Most of these chit fund companies are channelising the funds collected from public into their media ventures and serving the interest of the local party, he told Business Line.

“The previous Left Front Government had initiated some enquiries into such dubious companies collecting funds from public promising attractive returns. But the present TMC-led Government has not been taking any measures,” he said.

In 2009, the West Bengal Assembly had passed a Bill which gave powers to the State Government to take suo moto action against errant and unscrupulous players. This Bill required the assent of the President, he said.

“This Bill has not yet received the President’s assent and the present Government is not taking adequate action to ensure that it receives it ,” he pointed out.

Inquiry

However, there was a provision wherein the State Government, in collaboration with the Union Government, could initiate enquiry. “This is also something that is not being pursued by the State Government,” he added.

CPI (M) leader and former housing minister Gautam Deb also recently accused the thriving chit fund industry in West Bengal for the drop in small savings in the State.

According to sources, small savings and post office collections in West Bengal during the April-October 2012 period was merely Rs 194 crore, against the targeted amount of Rs 8,370 crore.

“These chit funds are creating havoc in the lives of common people. Small savings are witnessing a drop each day. When the Left Front members tried to bring up the issue at the Assembly, we were beaten up,” he said.

shobha.roy@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on December 14, 2012)
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