Chit fund scam: taxes on cigarettes to help pay for Mamata Banerjee's 500-crore relief fund

Last Updated: Thu, Apr 25, 2013 03:50 hrs

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced today that her government will set up a Rs.500 crore relief fund for compensating depositors who have lost money by investing in chit funds run by the Saradha Group.

Ms Banerjee also announced the imposition of 10 percent tax on cigarettes to provide money for the fund. "We are setting up a Rs.500 crore relief fund for small and medium depositors who have lost their money. This will help the common people who are now in distress,"  she told reporters  at the state secretariat Writers' Buildings.

"To raise the fund, we will impose 10 percent tax on cigarettes. This will get us around Rs.150 core. We will tap other sources to get the rest of the amount," she said.

Ms Banerjee said the money from the fund will be paid to the depositors on the basis of recommendations of the high-powered commission set up by her government.

The notification for the commission, headed by retired Calcutta High Court judge Shyamal Sen, was issued during the day.

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