This Week: West Bengal

While Saradha Group has gone bust in West Bengal's chit fund scandal,two other similar groups,Rose Valley Group and MPS Greeneries Developers,have challenged Sebi,the market watchdog,for putting them on its black list.

Written by Sabyasachi Bandopadhyay | Published: May 28, 2013 3:47 am

Sebi vs Rose Valley

While Saradha Group has gone bust in West Bengal’s chit fund scandal,two other similar groups,Rose Valley Group and MPS Greeneries Developers,have challenged Sebi,the market watchdog,for putting them on its black list. Last Sunday,Sebi put up public notices in major newspapers warning the general public that if they invest in these two “ponzi firms”,they would be doing so at their own peril since the firms aren’t registered with Sebi. The two companies have responded with counter-notices in the newspapers,challenging the legal validity of the Sebi’s notices and threatening to move court against the central agency.

Complaints pile up

The number of complaints to the Justice Shyamal Sen Commission,set up by the state government to probe the Saradha chit fund scam,has crossed 4 lakh and is climbing. As the last day for accepting complaints has been fixed on June 29,long queues of depositors with documents can be seen every day in front of the head office of the commission at Council House Street in central Calcutta,as well as its two centres at Rajarhat on the outskirts and Siliguri in North Bengal. The largest crowds gather at the head office where hearings take place every day. Depositors and agents from across the state often break into tears as they recount their experiences.

Pitch for FDI

US Ambassador Nancy J Powell,who made a three-day visit to West Bengal,made a pitch for FDI after a meeting with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee,who is strongly opposed to FDI in retail. Neither Powell nor Mamata went public about what they had discussed in their one-hour meeting. In her address to industrialists of Kolkata,however,the US ambassador stressed FDI in insurance and other sectors,saying growth cannot be possible unless foreign funds are allowed in. And in her conversation with industrialists during lunch,she is said to have asserted India needs FDI badly,particularly in sectors like infrastructure,which is in bad shape.

Industry policy

A draft industrial policy of the government,announced by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee last week,disappointed industrialists disheartened as it was mum on issues such as setting up SEZs amid relaxed norms. Bharat Chamber of Commerce,which had submitted a memorandum to the chief minister during a core committee meeting on commerce and industry,requested her to consider the setting up an IT SEZ as the central government had last year scrapped a land clause for such SEZs. Earlier,25 acres of land was the minimum requirement for setting up an IT SEZ but the central government has done away with the clause. Industrialists are now sending their responses to the draft policy.

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