Tripura to tighten law on chit funds, non-banking financial firms

Agartala, Dec 14 (IANS) The Tripura government will introduce an amendment to an existing law in the assembly on Thursday and get it passed in order to curb the activities of illegal chit fund and non-banking financial companies, a senior state official said on Wednesday.

“The Protection of Interest of Depositors (Second Amendment) Bill will be tabled on the first day of the assembly’s winter session on Thursday to further tighten the existing act to curb the activities of illegal chit fund groups and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs),” the top official of the Tripura Finance Department told IANS on condition of anonymity.

He said the existing Protection of Interest of Depositors Act was enacted several years back and now requires amendments to deal with unauthorised chit fund groups and NBFCs.

The winter session of the assembly will continue till December 19.

Tripura assembly Speaker Ramendra Chandra Debnath said Finance Minister Bhanulal Saha will table the amendment bill on Thursday and it is likely to be passed on Monday after discussion.

The opposition Congress, Trinamool Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party have been accusing the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leaders and members of involvement with chit fund groups, an accusation the Left has strongly denied.

Saha said the Tripura government is the first in the country to take action against unauthorised chit fund groups and NBFCs.

“Our Chief Ministers, me and my predecessors and state Chief Secretary had written letters to the Prime Minister, Union Finance Ministers and Reserve Bank Governor to regulate the activities of illegal NBFCs and chit fund groups,” the Finance Minister told IANS.

“We have taken a series of actions against them and referred 37 cases relating to illegal activities of chit fund groups and unauthorised NBFCs to the Central Bureau of Investigation for appropriate action,” he said.

Unauthorised chit fund companies and NBFCs have mushroomed in the northeastern region in recent years, luring depositors by promising hefty interest rates ranging from 25 to 30 per cent. After collecting money, their operatotrs quietly wind up business and vanish.

–IANS

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