Chaos in Tripura Assembly on Chit Fund issue

Posted on 10th Feb 2015 10:51 am by mohit kumar

Agartala, Feb 9 (IANS) The Tripura assembly witnessed chaos Monday as opposition members disrupted the proceedings demanding the government inform the house about the amount of money collected by the unlawful NBFCs or chit funds.

When the speaker and the concerned minister did not concede the demand, the entire opposition rushed to the well of the house, forcing Speaker Ramendra Chandra Debnath to suspend question hour for the remaining period.

Reacting to the demands of the opposition Congress legislators, acting home minister Badal Choudhury said: "Left Front government in Tripura is the first state government in India to take stringent steps against the chit fund companies and enact laws to deal with their activities."

He said: "The Tripura government in 2013 had referred 37 be probed by the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation), but the agency has taken up only five cases."

Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sakar in a letter to the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last year had urged him to direct the CBI to probe the activities of chit fund companies and unauthorised collection of funds in the northeastern state.

"A CBI probe into all the 37 cases is necessary as these cases involve chit fund companies having operations in many states," said Sarkar in the letter, copies of which were released to the media here by Choudhury.

He said: "Tripura's Left Front government is the first state government in the country to ask the CBI to investigate the illegal activities of the unauthorised Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) or the chit fund companies."

"Our state government has formed an economic offence wing under the district police chiefs in all the eight districts to take appropriate action against illegal NBFCs and chit fund companies," the minister said.

Choudhury, however, said the central government did not respond positively to the state government's request since 2002 for enacting a comprehensive central legislation to regulate unauthorised chit funds. Therefore, the Tripura government got passed a law in 2011 to deal with these organisations, he added.

Opposition leader Sudip Roy Barman later told reporters that the chit fund companies had collected at least Rs 1500 crore from the people in Tripura.

Unauthorised chit fund companies and NBFCs have mushroomed in the northeastern region in recent years. They lure depositors by promising exceptionally hefty rates of interest ranging from 25 percent to 30 percent. After collecting the money, they quietly shut down their operations and vanish.

The NBFCs or the chit fund companies, which are not recognised by the Reserve Bank of India, the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority or the Securities and Exchange Board of India, cannot conduct any monetary business or take deposits from people.

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