Mamata for stringent act to prevent chit fund malpractices
In her suo motu reply during Question Hour, the Chief Minister said that the West Bengal Protection of Interest of Depositors in Financial Establishments Bill, 2013, which was passed in the House by her government had received assent from President Pranab Mukherjee. Banerjee, however, said that her government was not happy with a communication received through Raj Bhavan, referring to a condition for its implementation enshrined in a similar act in Tamil Nadu.
The provision in the anti-chit fund Act in Tamil Nadu said the offenders in such cases could be released on bail after paying fines, which, Banerjee said, would never be allowed in West Bengal.
The state government brought this Bill to enact a stringent legislation and thus strong punishment like life imprisonment was included in the bill. Banerjee said that the state government had written to the Centre urging that at least the provisions of strong punishment, which was in the bill, should be restored, otherwise offenders in such financial crimes would get an escape route.
She said that the state government was waiting for the reply from the Centre.
The Chief Minister also noted that if required, the state government was even ready to bring an ordinance on the issue in consultation with the Opposition in the House.
<g data-gr-id="34">Leader</g> of Opposition Surjya Kanta Mishra said that even as the Bill received presidential assent, the state government has failed to table it in the House.
Mishra also told the House that the condition, mentioned by the Chief Minister, had not been discussed earlier in the Business Advisory Committee meeting.
Demanding a ruling, Mishra along with other opposition members rushed to the Speaker Biman Banerjee alleging suppression of facts by the government on the issue. Finance Minister Amit Mitra elaborated the process, in the House, under which the bill had been passed till it received the President's assent.
As opposition members agitated after the Chief Minister's statement, the Speaker ruled that the government had explained details of the bill.
The next course of action on the Bill would be finalised following a discussion in the Business Advisory Committee meeting.
Left Front members had made a ruckus in the West Bengal Assembly yesterday, demanding tabling of the <g data-gr-id="33">anti-chit</g> fund bill in the House.
Rabindranath Chatterjee joins Trinamool Congress
Congress on Friday suffered another jolt in West Bengal as its veteran leader and MLA Rabindranath Chatterjee on Friday joined the Trinamool Congress. “Rabindranath Chatterjee has decided to join the TMC as he feels that TMC is the only party which works for the development of the state under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee,” state Education and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Partha Chatterjee said. “He too wants to take part in the development of our Maa Mati Manush government and work for the people,” the minister said.
Along with Chatterjee, who was elected from Burdwan’s Katwa constituency in 2011, several councillors and <g data-gr-id="62">panchyat</g> members of Congress from Katwa also switched over to the ruling party. When contacted, the newly inducted TMC leader told a news agency, “I have joined the Trinamool Congress because I think it would be easier for me to work for the masses if I am a member of the ruling party. In <g data-gr-id="63">Congress</g> I was having a problem in working for the people”. Chatterjee had last week met Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee fuelling speculation of a switch over. With Chatterjee joining TMC, the total number of Congress MLAs who switched over to the TMC since the 2011 Assembly poll reaches 10.