West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra on Monday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and asked him to expedite Presidential assent to a new bill to protect the interests of depositors in the aftermath of the multi-crore ponzi scam in the state.
The West Bengal Assembly had in a special session last week passed the West Bengal Protection of Interest of Depositors in Financial Establishment Bill, 2013, to protect investors in chit fund companies.
Mitra, who met the Prime Minister and also Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde in Parliament House, said he has asked both the leaders that the process of clearing the state legislation by the Finance, Home and Law Ministries should be expedited so that the President could give his assent to it soon.
He claimed that the Bill had ‘more teeth’ as six-seven new provisions relating to search, seizure and attachment of properties of the culprits have been introduced, in addition to those in an earlier bill prepared by the erstwhile Left Front government and approved by the previous state Assembly.
"I have come to Delhi along with the Chief Secretary and the Finance Secretary to press for quick assent of the President (to the legislation)," he told reporters.
Maintaining that the Home Ministry was the nodal ministry and he had also met the Home Minister, Mitra said Shinde "assured me that he will do his very best."
Mitra said he has also suggested to the Home Minister that like in the case of Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, where ‘in two or three days, they were able to do this where the Home Secretary creates a consultative meeting with Finance and Law and Home (Ministries) and quickly reviews the bill and puts it up for Presidential assent.’
Mitra said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had also spoken with the President on Sunday when he was in Kolkata.
Hundreds of small investors in West Bengal have been affected by the recent ponzi scheme scam, especially by the Saradha group of companies whose chief Sudipto Sen and several others have been arrested.