Assocham calls for protection of depositors in chit-fund mess

Kolkata, April 23 (IANS) Industry association Assocham Tuesday called for immediate action against the guilty involved in the chit-fund mess and protection of the depositors’ interests.

Assocham also said a CBI inquiry could also be held.

“This is a serious matter. People are committing suicide. And any person committing suicide, you could understand the magnitude of the seriousness. Question is that what action has been taken so far. What investigation has taken place so far,” Assocham secretary general D.S. Rawat told reporters here.

“Let us not wait for more suicides before taking action. You have to take the action (now),” Rawat said.

Lakhs of depositors vented their anger across the state against the chit-fund fund company Saradha Group. There were incidents of clashes between the agents and the depositors who demanded their money back.

Rawat said the people involved in duping depositors should be punished and action should be taken to protect the depositors.

Both the central as well as the West Bengal governments should not pass on the responsibility to each other for the scandal, he stated.

“The responsibility in such crisis should not pass on… the state cannot say that it is the centre’s responsibility or the centre cannot say that it is the state’s responsibility. Both of them are fully educated and aware of their responsibilities. So action must be taken.

“They must be focusing on protecting the interests of the people who are the poorest of the poor,” Rawat said.

He also supported the demand for a CBI probe into the chit-fund scam, saying: “Some people are demanding that there should be a CBI inquiry. There is no harm in it.”

The opposition Congress has accused West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress government of having close links with the Saradha Group, which has gone bust, and demanded probe by the CBI.

The state government Monday set up a high-powered commission, headed by a former Calcutta High Court judge, and a special investigation team to unravel the mess, affecting lakhs of depositors and agents.

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