Breaking her silence over the collapse of chitfund company, Saradha Group, which has hit thousands of depositors across the state in the last few days, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday instituted a high-level inquiry and deputed a special investigation team into it.
Banerjee told reporters after a high-level meeting that a SIT under the DGP would go into the fiasco and a high-level inquiry under the Commission of Inquiry Act was being instituted.
The chief minister also said that a draft for promulgating an ordinance having more teeth to restrict operations of chitfund companies was prepared.
She said that she had telephonically requested President Pranab Mukherjee, who inquired about her health yesterday, to see that the bill passed by previous Left Front government seeking to restrict chitfund operations, was returned to enable the state government to incorporate more stringent provisions to deal with such illegal activities.
"If the bill forwarded by the Left Front government to the Centre in 2009, is returned within 24 hours, then our government will immediately promulgate the ordinance to that effect," the chief minister said.
"Laws that the Left Front government had proposed, had some flaws in it and the chitfund business mushroomed during the Left regime," she alleged.
Stating that strong laws were needed to curb the illegal activities of chitfunds, Banerjee said since their operations were governed by central laws and not by the state government, "the onus lies with the central government."
Expressing concern at the situation, she said "for quite a few years, some chitfunds were deceiving poor investors promising high returns.
This has been continuing since the '80s in this state."