92 chit funds flee Tripura: Minister
At least 92 unauthorised Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) and chit funds have fled Tripura after illegally collecting huge amounts of money from the people, a minister said Wednesday.
"Till march last year, 117 NBFCs were working in the state. When the state government started taking action against them, 92 chit funds ran away," Finance Minister Badal Chaudhury said in the state assembly.
"After a request by the state government, the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) has recently started investigation in a few cases," he added.
He said that complaints lodged with the police and the administration by the depositors say that Rs.29.13 crore has been siphoned off by these chit funds.
"But the total amount collected by them would be much higher."
He said the state government has so far filed 78 cases and the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) is conducting investigations.
"The Tripura government has referred 37 cases to the CBI, but the CBI has taken up investigation of seven cases only."
The minister said the Tripura government has formed an economic offence wing in each district under the leadership of the superintendent of police.
Chaudhury said the central government has not responded positively to the state government's request for enacting a comprehensive central legislation for regulating the unauthorised chit funds to protect the interests of the depositors and investors.
Participating in the debate, Chief Minister Manik Sarkar said that after getting no response from the central government, the Tripura government passed a law in 2011 to deal with these organisations.
Unauthorised NBFCs have mushroomed in the northeastern region in recent years. These organisations take deposits from people by promising abnormally high rates of interest from 25 to 30 percent. After collecting the money, they shut down their operations and leave the area.
The NBFCs are not recognised by the Reserve Bank of India, the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority or the Securities and Exchange Board of India, and cannot do any monetary business or take deposits from people.
(Posted on 26-02-2014)