WB: New bill to deal with chit funds kicks off row

Posted By: PTI
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Kolkata, April 29: The new bill to be moved by the Mamata Banerjee government on Tuesday following the chit fund scam by the Saradha Group has kicked off a row with opposition claiming that it is similar to the one passed during the previous Left Front regime.

"There is 90 per cent similarity between the two bills. Then what is the need for this new bill needs to clarified. Why is the old bill being called back?" asked senior CPI(M) leader Surjya Kanta Mishra, who is also the Leader of the Opposition. "Under which clause of the Constitution have they called back the bill needs to be answered. They can't just bulldoze the demand of the opposition," he said.

Congress leader Manas Bhuinya claimed that 98 per cent of the contents of the new bill are similar to the provisions of the previous bill. If implemented, the bill would have no power to punish offenders, he claimed. The ruling Trinamool Congress countered that the Left Front too did not bother to call back a 2003 bill on curbing chit funds when a new bill was introduced in 2009.

Industries minister and deputy leader of the House Partha Chatterjee said that the Left Front also did not bother to get presidential assent after the bill was passed in the assembly in 2009. "What were they doing all these years? Why didn't they get presidential assent when the bill was passed in 2009? Did they call back the previous bill of 2003 before passing a new bill in 2009?" asked Chatterjee.

"They will get all the answers tomorrow," he said. The West Bengal Protection of Interest of Depositors in Financial Establishments Bill, 2013 will be introduced tomorrow. It will replace the earlier West Bengal Protection of Depositors Interest Bill 2009 introduced by the previous Left Front government on December 22, 2009. Copies of the bill were circulated among the members on the first day of the 2-day special session of the Assembly on Monday.

Government Chief Whip Sobhandev Chattopadhyay told reporters that there would be a three hour discussion on the bill. The Industry minister said a whip has been issued to all TMC members to be present in the Assembly from 10:00 am.


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