Kolkata: West Bengal's opposition CPI-M Thursday demanded immediate seizure of the assets of Saradha Group, which has gone bust, to return the depositors' hard-earned money.
The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) asked the Trinamool Congress government to engage the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) and capital market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) in the investigation process.
"The first step should be seizure of Saradha's movable and immovable properties, including bank deposits. Then these assets should be auctioned off through a court in order to return the money to the duped depositors," CPI-M leader Asim Dasgupta told a media conference here.
Dasgupta, also a former state finance minister, questioned the Trinamool Congress government's decision to impose a 10 percent tax on cigarettes for setting up a Rs.500 crore relief fund for compensating depositors who have lost money.
"Instead of taking steps to return depositors' money by seizing and auctioning off the company's assets, the government is setting up a relief fund. What is more important? Is it not more important to return the hard-earned money to the depositors?" he wondered.
The CPI-M leader alleged that the Mamata Banerjee government was delaying the process of returning money to the duped investors as the commission set up by it could not seize properties.
The government has already set up of an inquiry commission, headed by a former Calcutta High Court judge, to probe the chit fund scam.