Mamata Banerjee, West Bengal Chief Minister, said here on Tuesday that two companies that had four of five sister concerns in the State engaged in Ponzi or multi-level marketing schemes would be closed within the next 24 hours.
“We have given instructions to close the two companies in 24 hours and are keeping an eye on other such companies,” she told journalists in the Assembly lobby after addressing the House following the passing of a Bill to protect the interest of depositors in the State’s financial establishment.
Asked the names of the companies concerned she said: “I will not disclose their names as that would alert them.”
During her thanksgiving speech in the House, Ms. Banerjee had said her government was studying the list of 73 companies against which the Centre had received complaints of engaging in such financial irregularities.
The list of companies, including several associated with the scam-tainted Saradha Group, was placed in Parliament by the Union Minister for Corporate Affairs Sachin Pilot on March 14.
“We will keep an eye on companies [financial establishments] to ensure that people are not cheated,” Ms. Banerjee said, adding that the State would ensure that investors would be refunded their deposits.
Describing the passing of The West Bengal Protection of Interest of Depositors in Financial Establishment Bill, 2013 during the two-day special session of the Assembly as a “timely decision to protect the interest of people”, she said it would set an example for the State and the rest of the country.
“We will send the Bill for the assent of Governor M.K. Narayanan on May 5 after he returns to the State,” Ms. Banerjee said, pointing out that she has also urged President Pranab Mukherjee to agree to the legislation.
Referring to a letter from the Governor’s office to the State government giving reasons for the withdrawal of an earlier legislation brought by the previous Left Front government, she alleged that many files and document of the previous Left Front regime had gone missing.
Members of the Left Front walked out of the Assembly in protest against Ms. Banerjee’s allegation, taking exception to her utterance while offering the vote of thanks to members of the Assembly at the special session’s conclusion.