Millennium Post

Tighten the leash

The passage of Sebi Bill, aimed at dealing with ponzi schemes and illegal chit funds mushrooming all over the country, by the Lok Sabha on Wednesday is a welcome step that will go a long way in tackling the menace. The illicit investment industry has brought enormous misery to common people, especially the poor, who had parked their hard-earned money with such schemes, hoping to make some quids along the way.

The Securities Laws (Amendment) Bill 2014 comes in the wake of millions of unsuspecting small time investors being cheated by slew of schemes engineered to siphon off money, particularly the notorious Saradha scam, the investigation into which is still going on. While the new bill (awaiting approval from Rajya Sabha now) is intended to spruce up the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) and empower it to conduct probe against companies and individuals under scanner, a stronger regulatory mechanism will also be put in place to curb such reckless financial projects that jeopardise monetary health of the aam aadmi.

With the credit bubble having inflated to an unsustainable level, and fraudulent investment schemes luring not just the ordinary citizen but also public sector companies who have extended and lost loans to undeserved private players, a stronger leash on the banking and financial sector is the need of the hour. In fact, more reliable model of accruing savings must be brought about to enable the common man to improve his fiscal health, while at the same time, coming down heavily on dishonest and counterfeit schemes intended to fleece others. It’s important that capital market watchdogs like Sebi are better armed to tackle the ponzi menace, for which mere legal provisions would never suffice. Regulators and law enforcement agencies need to work in tandem, while the government must undertake awareness campaigns to spread the message of observing caution against such  scamsters. The economic offence wing of the government, both at the central and state levels, should up its ante and nip the monster at its very bud.   
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