Centre has taken right steps to check bogus companies: Digvijaya

Kolkata, April 21 (IANS) Asking political parties to not “do politics” over the Saradha Group chit fund bust, Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh Sunday said that the central government has taken “the right steps” to keep “bogus companies”in check.

He also noted that Kolkata has become a main centre for shell companies for money laundering.

“Instead of shifting responsibility to centre or state, we have to identify all those depositors and agents deprived of their rights.

Let’s not do politics in this ..we have to ensure that all these people get justice and all those people who have cheated them have to be punished,” he told reporters at the state Congress headquarters, Vidhan Bhawan here.

The Saradha Group, one of the largest chit fund companies in eastern India, is on the verge of collapse after defaulting on payments. Its offices across the state have downed shutters, throwing into jeopardy the future of lakhs of depositors who had parked their hard-earned money into the company lured by promises of high returns.

On being questioned about the claim of the Left Front, which ruled the state (1977-2011), that it had passed a bill in the assembly which was yet to get presidential assent, Digvijaya Singh said he was not in the know about any such legislation.

“But if they did pass any such Act, then they should tell us what kind of legislation they made. But even without a law, they could have acted (against such companies) had they wanted to. Why didn’t they do it?”

Claiming that Kolkata “has become one of the main centres for shell companies for money laundering”, he asserted the United Progressive Alliance government has taken the “right steps” to mount action against “fly-by-night-operators”.

“The centre has taken a step. In fact, if I remember correctly, Minister of Corporate Affairs Sachin Pilot had come to Kolkata in December 2012 and he has initiated the process of taking action against all these fly by night operators.

“There are a number of cases where the companies could be registered under fake addresses. Ministry of corporate affairs has taken some right steps to sort of not allow the bogus companies to be set up,” Digvijaya Singh said.

Refering to companies involved with the Purti Group, with which former Bharatiya Janata Party president Nitin Gadkari was associated and which were under the scanner for financial irregularities, he said: “If you remember correctly Mr. Nitin Gadkari’s companies.. a number of companies had fake and bogus addresses.”

“The corporate affairs ministry has now brought in the regulation that every company registered…the address given has to be verified. So therefore I think steps have been taken by the government of India against setting up these shell companies and bogus companies,” he said.

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