April 25, 2013
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee announces 500 crore relief for chit-fund victims
West Bengal Chief Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday, requested the small and medium depositors to be watchful of the advertisements that will be released in newspapers by the Special Commission headed by Justice (Retd.) Shyamal Sen. The advertisements will provide all the information on when and where to submit the receipt of the amount deposited by the investors.
CM affirmed that since the State Government has no law based upon which it can take action against Chit Fund offenders, a special session of the Assembly is to be convened between 26 April and 6 May in order to pass the legislation with immediate effect, so as to empower the state government to confiscate the assets of the Saradha Group and pay back small depositors after auction. She mentioned, the State Government is transparent in its activities and also has a sense of responsibility towards the common people even though in the given situation they are not liable in any manner.
CM announced that despite acute financial constraints the state government has decided to set up a relief fund of Rs 500 crore in order to safeguard the interest of the poor depositors. She added that her government will always be the watchman to protect the common people`s interests. A 10% tax on cigarettes and tobacco products will be imposed to raise Rs.150 crore for the 500 crore relief fund. She cited the examples of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, where taxes on tobacco products add up to 40 to 50% whereas in Bengal it has been only 25%. The rest of the amount will be accumulated without bringing any burden upon the common man.
The Chief Minister requested the people of Bengal not to indulge in petty politics as the need of the hour is to rescue the poor people. She suspects that there is an attempt to derail the Bengal`s economy and hence one must not be a party to such conspiracy. She pointed out that it's not fair to blame individual journalists as they are only employees and that not all advertisers are cheats.
CM asserted that the State Government is not the authority that allows newspapers and channels to operate, the permission is given by the Information and Broadcast Ministry of Central Government. She feels the various Central bodies must also provide monitory aid in bailing out the poor from this situation as many have been negligent towards their responsibilities.
CM also assured that any party MP found guilty of violating the law will face punishment.
CM commended the West Bengal Police Department for taking a swift action in arresting the accused and ceasing many of Saradha Group`s assets.
Last but not the least the CM appealed for cooperation from all sections so that the authorities can battle out the state from the crisis situation.