CBI finds no Saradha link in TMC’s accounts | The Times of India

This article was published in The Times of India on 24 August, 2015

After a six-month probe into Trinamool Congress’s sources of funds, the CBI has not found any suspicious transactions in the party’s accounts, especially from the Saradha group of companies.

“We have analyzed the income tax returns and other documents related to TMC but there is no unexplained or suspicious transaction in the accounts from Saradha companies, as suspected earlier,” a top CBI official said.

Probing TMC’s funds, which included purchase of one of Mamata’s paintings by Saradha group chief Sudipta Sen for Rs 1.80 crore, was part of CBI’s FIR which focused on the wider conspiracy in the Saradha chit fund scam. It was being suspected that Saradha group gave several crores to TMC between 2010 and 2014, which were not legitimate transactions.

The agency had examined TMC general secretary Subrata Baxi seeking details of party’s accounts earlier this year.

TMC had attacked CBI several times, saying it was working on the directions of the Centre.

Arrest of several leaders by the CBI in the multi-crore Saradha scam had put the party on the back foot. The CBI has arrested and charge-sheeted senior TMC leaders including Madan Mitra, former Rajya Sabha MP Kunal Ghosh and Srinjoy Bose in the Rs 2,500 crore ponzi scam.

Congress leader and former minister of state for home in the Narsihma Rao government Matang Sinh was also arrested and named in a charge-sheet earlier this month for allegedly siphoning off Rs 28 crore from the ponzi schemes run by Saradha chairman Sudipta Sen.

Meanwhile, the agency on Sunday lodged five more FIRs against different chit fund companies operating in Assam for cheating several thousand investors. The companies named in the fresh FIRs include Rose Valley, Silicon MultiServices Ltd, Uro Agro India Ltd, Uro Infra Reality India Ltd and Prayag Hi-Rise Infotech Ltd, CBI spokesperson Kanchan Prasad said.

ADB loan push for state corridor

The Mamata Banerjee government has got another big boost before the chief minister’s London visit on July.

The screening committee of the Department of Economic Affairs under the union Finance Ministry has cleared loan approval of receiving $500 million Asian Development Bank (ADB) loan to the West Bengal government for setting up the 231 km long North South corridor from East Midnapore to Murshidabad that will cross six districts and move parallel to NH-34.

This is the highest amount of ADB loan granted for any ADB-assisted single project in the country. The total cost of the project, to be executed by the West Bengal Highway Development Corporation Limited (WBHDCL) is estimated as Rs 4,696 crore.

The corridor would help to remove the critical bottlenecks in freight movement not only from the northern parts of the state and north eastern states of the country but also from the neighbouring countries like Bhutan and Nepal to Haldia and Paradeep.

About the corridor

According to the plan, the corridor will run across six districts on the western side of the Ganges parallel to NH-34 and would serve at least 40% of the total population of the state, connecting a 231 km stretch from Mechogram near Haldia in East Midnapore to Morgram near Jangipur in Murshidabad.

The corridor will connect the important national highways of NH-6, NH-2, NH-60 and NH-34. The corridor will also reduce travel distance of Morgramm – Haldia port for about 60 km and will reduce about three hours of travel time in comparison to NH-34.

Kharagpur and the south west part of the country will get shorter connectivity to north east in addition to the faster connectivity to Haldia from states like Bihar, Jharkhand and the north eastern states along with Nepal and Bhutan.


The story was originally published in The Times of India on 10 June, 2015