Kolkata,, April 26 (IANS) Blaming the central government's casual approach and the failure of its agencies for the multi billion chit fund scam, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Friday demanded it return the money of the depositors.
Banerjee also lashed out at the state's erstwhile Left Front regime for not taking the right steps and failing to implement a bill to deal with chit funds during their rule.
Attacking the central government for its inability to foresee the impending danger posed by chit funds, the chief minister said "They (the chit funds) were governed by the laws of the central government and were supposed to be overseen by SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) and RBI (Reserve Bank of India). They didn't oversee. So a lot has gone wrong."
"A storm has come because of the deeds of the earlier (Left Front) government and casual approach of the centre," she told a media meet at the state secretariat here.
However, Banerjee assured the depositors of the Saradha Group, which has downed shutters failing to repay the money collected from them, that there was nothing to panic about.
"Our commission has already started working. There is no reason to panic," she said, referring to the five-member commission headed by former Allahabad High Court Chief Justice Shyamal Sen set up to probe the scam.
Referring to a new legislation her government plans to bring in the assembly April 30 to brign to justice those duping commong people by collecting money, Banerjee said: "We have got the earlier version of the bill from the governor today (Friday) around 1 p.m. and we have submitted a newly drafted bill at 1.45 p.m. today itself for his approval. He has approved for it to be placed in the assembly."
Hitting out at the previous government, Banerjee accused them of "trying to create panic among the masses because of political reasons".
Banerjee pointed out that a law would have prevented such incidents, but the former regime had failed to do so even after a "calamity" of similar kind during their rule.
"During the erstwhile Left Front government, no one got their money back and no action was taken. If the law was made earlier then so many common people would not have been in trouble," she said.
Banerjee assured the wronged that their money will be returned following the establishment of a commission.
"Our police has taken swift action. We have kept Rs.500 crore aside for the commission's needs so that it can refund the people's money."