October 1, 2013
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee distributes financial compensation to victims of Saradha scheme
West Bengal Chief Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee distributed compensation cheques to 929 investors who had been duped after investing in the Saradha ponzi schemes. The first phase of compensation was flagged off by the Chief Minister on Monday, 30th September, at Khudiram Anushilan Kendra.
Lakhs of people, mainly the poor from villages and small towns, had been affected by the Saradha scam. Several investors and agents had committed suicides in the aftermath of the chit-fund company downing its shutters.
The beneficiaries were chosen as per recommendations made by the Justice (Retd) Shyamal Sen Commission, which was constituted by the State Government to probe the scam and recommend ways of returning money to the depositors. The beneficiaries had deposited up to Rs.10,000 in the Saradha schemes.
The Chief Minister appealed to people not to invest their money with any chit fund company. She said, “I will request you to put money in piggy banks if you do not have any alternative for investment. We are trying to send compensation cheques to 1 lakh victims before the Pujas and a total 5 lakh victims before Kali Puja. We do not want to deprive the poor people. Our sincere efforts are always there to help the poor people in distress. Central Government agencies, like SEBI, RBI, should also ensure that poor people are not cheated. “
Later that day, she also posted a comment on the issue on her Facebook page. The post said: `In the last 35 years, many people have been cheated by the so-called chit fund companies. Have we ever heard of anything like returning money to the people who were cheated? `
The state government is currently awaiting necessary clearance from the Reserve Bank of India to float the state`s very own Safe Savings Scheme that will encourage people to desist from investing in dubious chit funds.
Calling the decision to pay compensation to the victims as `historic`, Justice Sen commented that 1,04,000 more depositors would be indemnified before the Durga Puja next week.