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Actions against illegal NBFCs in Tripura to continue

June 20th, 2010 SindhToday

Agartala, June 20 (IANS) The crackdown on unauthorised non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) collecting deposits from people in Tripura will continue, the state police said Sunday.

“At least 8 managing directors, directors and branch managers of several NBFIs have so far been arrested in Tripura. Arrest and raids would continue across the state. We have sealed some of the offices of NBFCs too,” a police spokesman told reporters here.

A team of officers of the crime investigation department, the finance department and police has been conducting raids since last week in offices of various NBFCs to check on their status and financial transactions.

Earlier this month, the Tripura government had decided to act against NBFCs not recognised by the Reserve Bank of India, the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority (IRDA) or the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

Unauthorised NBFCs have mushroomed in the northeastern region in recent years. These organisations take deposits from people promising abnormally high rates of interest. After collecting the money, they close their operations and leave the area.

“A large number of depositors have already lost their hard earned savings,” said Finance Minister Badal Choudhury.

“The state government has undertaken an inquiry against the 84 NBFCs functioning in Tripura alone. The government has sought advice from the RBI and the (central) finance ministry about the state’s possible steps,” Choudhury added.

Meanwhile, the main opposition Congress and the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) accused one another of helping these NBFCs.

“At least Rs.3,000 crore have been collected by the NBFCs from the people of Tripura in the past few years illegally. The CPI-M led Left Front government has remained silent in this regard,” Congress leader Ratan Lal Nath told reporters.

Demanding protection of the depositors and framing necessary laws, he alleged: “Tripura Chief Minister, his ministerial colleagues and senior CPI-M leaders are involved in the NBFCs’ business. The joint actions by the police and finance department are only an eye-wash.”

“The government should publish the list of illegal NBFCs,” Nath said.

The CPI-M strongly refuted the Congress’ charges.

“Congress leaders for their election fund and their individual gain have been collecting money from illegal and private organisations. To divert people’s attention from this illegal act, the Congress leaders are making baseless and unfounded accusation against the CPI-M leaders and ministers,” said CPI-M spokesman Gautam Das.

He said: “The Left Front government has been taking legal actions against these unofficial financial bodies and such type of actions would continue.”

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