Trinamool Congress veteran Saugata Ray has demanded a parliamentary probe into the functioning of chit funds even as his party is struggling to save its image in the Saradha fund scam.
At the first meeting of the parliamentary standing committee on finance held here Thursday, Ray surprised many by demanding that the panel—a key body that has several stalwart MPs including former PM Manmohan Singh — should “look into” chit funds and come out with a report.
Roy’s party colleague Sudip Bandopadhyay skipped the meeting.
The demand also assumes significance as some other chit fund companies in West Bengal are also under the Sebi scanner and there are allegations of nexus between these companies and a section of Trinamool leaders.
In Trinamool circles, Roy is not seen as being close to Mamata or any party leaders under the CBI scanner. BJD’s Bhartruhari Mahtab proposed that the finance panel should also assess the alternative plan to replace the planning commission.
However, other members demanded that the functioning of SEBI, Insurance regulatory and development authority and Reserve Bank of India should also be reviewed.
Former PM Manmohan Singh attended the meeting, but didn’t suggest any subject for consideration of the panel. The committee will kick start its work for 2014-15 with the review of all demands for grants of different ministries.