Haunted by the colossal multicrore chit fund scam of the Saradha Group, the West Bengal government is mulling over a social security scheme of its own in which people can deposit their money and get “proper” returns.
“To provide social security in the wake of growing financial insecurity we are thinking of a social security scheme that will ensure proper safety for public money and proper returns,” Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee, said at the State Secretariat here on Wednesday.
Describing the matter as a “sensitive issue,” she said that her government would be seeking the suggestions of the public including “experts” as well as those duped by the ponzi scam before it finalised the scheme. The proposal would be posted on the website of the State’s Finance department.
“Once a decision on the scheme is taken necessary legislation will have to be made,” Ms. Banerjee said.
Her government was proposing such a scheme considering its responsibility to those duped by various collective investment schemes recently, she pointed out, adding: “When the government takes on such a responsibility the people have faith in it knowing that their money deposited is secure and returns are assured and will be fair.”
The people, she observed, were flocking to invest in collective investment schemes as they were not getting the “proper” place where their savings would be secure. They were duped by so-called chit funds, lured with the promise of high returns.
“We may not be able to give more interest…we cannot give interest that is beyond our capacity because we cannot dupe them [the investors]. It does not matter that the returns are less as long as their savings are secure. Duping people is not the job of a government. What can be done is offering financial, social security,” the Chief Minister said.
On the Bill passed recently in the State Assembly to rein in ponzi schemes she said it got the Governor’s assent. The State’s Finance Minister and Chief Secretary discussed it with the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister seeking their cooperation in expediting matters so that it was enacted at the earliest.