Ponzi scam:West Bengal Govt. asks Centre to expedite President's assent to bill

New Delhi, May 6 (ANI): West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday and asked him to expedite President Pranab Mukherjee's assent on the new bill to protect the interests of depositors in the aftermath of the multi-crore ponzi scam in the state.

Mitra met Dr. Singh and Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde in Parliament House,and reportedly asked both leaders to take steps to clear the state government's bill which has been forwarded to the Finance, Home and Law Ministries. He said that clearance from these three ministries is necessary before President Mukherjeee can give his assent to make it into law.

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 former 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 in the matter, Mitra said Shinde had assured that he will do his very best.

Mitra said he had also suggested to Shinde to hold a consultative meeting with Finance and Law and Home (Ministries) and quickly review the bill before putting it up for Presidential assent.

Mitra said West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had also spoken with President Mukherjee about the matter when he was in Kolkata on Sunday.

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.

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. (ANI)