Tripura wants pan-India law to deal with chit funds

Agartala, April 24 (IANS) Tripura wants a common law in India to deal with illegal finance companies which dupe people after accepting deposits on promise of giving high returns, Chief Minister Manik Sarkar Wednesday said here, referring to the Bengal chit fund scam.

“Giving power to the state governments, there must be a common act for the entire country to curb the illegal activities” of non-banking financial companies (NBFCs), popularly known as chit fund companies, Sarkar told reporters.

He said the Left Front government in Tripura has taken several measures, including enactment of a law to deal with such companies and to protect the investors.

“The Tripura government has intensified its vigil to tackle the illegal activities of NBFCs in Tripura,” the chief minister said while reacting to a scam related to Saradha Group in West Bengal.

The Tripura government also set up an economic offences wing (EOW) to take action against illegal NBFCs.

Tripura Finance Minister Badal Choudhury said: “The EOW, headed by a superintendent of police, was formed recently to probe the activities of NBFCs and un-incorporated bodies (UIB). At the district level, the wing would be led by the district police chief.”

“Some of these NBFCs have been formed under the Companies Act, 1956, and got licences from the central authorities. The state government has limited authority to take proper action against these organisations,” Choudhury told IANS.

The minister said that the state government had been asking the central government to form a regulatory body to supervise and act against errant NBFCs.

He said around a hundred NBFCs and UIBs have been functioning in Tripura for the past several years. “The state government has taken some action against 16 such groups.”

Opposition Congress leader Ratan Lal Nath said: “Various NBFCs have already duped lakhs of gullible investors in Tripura to the extent of nearly Rs.18.36 crore.”

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