Former state finance minister Asim Dasgupta on Sunday raised several questions on the legal sanctity of the Rs 500 crore fund set up by the Mamata Banerjee-led government to compensate duped investors of the Saradha scam.
Dasgupta said since there is a legal provision to return investors’ money by confiscating and selling the property of the group, there was no need to refund depositors from public money deposited in the state exchequer.
Dasgupta’s allegations come within a week after the chief minister started paying small Saradha investors cheques at a ceremony where the depositors were offered a sumptuous lunch by the state government. Altogether 800 depositors of Saradha Group received compensation on that day.
“Firs to fall, the state government has already withdrawn The West Bengal Protection of Interest of Depositors in Financial Establishment Bill, 2013. Therefore, the state cannot refund the money under the clauses mentioned in the bill,” Dasgupta told reporters here on Sunday.
According to him, although the state government is claiming that the compensation is being given as per law, it is not quoting the exact legal provisions under which the money is being returned.
He also questioned on why the state government is only giving compensation to depositors duped in the Saradha Group scam. “All financial entities where investors have been duped should be included under any compensation plan and the best way to accumulate money it by attaching and selling property of the ponzi firms through a court,” the former state finance minister said.
Dasgupta pointed out that by of fering compensation from public money, the state government is violating its own notification on April 24, 2013, where it was clearly stated that those who lost their savings be compensated from the assets of duping firms.
However, Dasgupta refused to give any answer on why the CPI(M) or the Left Front was not hitting the streets on the issue. “Although I am extremely eager to answer to this question, but as per my party rule, this answer will come from the party high command,” he said.