The West Bengal Assembly today passed a new Bill formulated by the Trinamool Congress government for protection of investors in chit fund companies, amidst a walkout by the Opposition Congress.

The Congress members trooped out when an amendment to the new West Bengal Protection of Interest of Depositors in Financial Establishment Bill, 2013, was not accepted by the state Finance Minister, Amit Mitra who tabled it at a two-day special session of the Assembly.

It was a matter of shame for the people of the state that a similar Bill brought by the previous Left Front government in 2003 was faulty and incomplete and did not get Presidential assent, Mitra said.

The previous LF government did not withdraw the Bill when it was returned in 2006, but chose to introduce a new legislation on the similar subject in 2008, which was subsequently passed in the Assembly, he said.

This legislation was also not enacted, he said adding, it was the duty of the present government to introduce a stringent Bill to deal with such financial frauds for which the 2009 Bill had been withdrawn.

The new Bill is more serious and stringent in nature, Mitra said.

The Opposition leader Suryakanta Mishra said there is mention of a competent authority in the Bill, but it is not clear about that individual’s identity.

Since the Saradha scam affected other states as well, the CBI should investigate it, he said.

Mishra criticised the government for not accepting some amendments to the Bill.

Earlier, the House passed a resolution to withdraw the West Bengal Protection of Investors in Financial Establishments Bill 2009, passed by the Left Front government.

It was passed after a division, which was sought by the Opposition.

(This article was published on April 30, 2013)
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