Special session to bring in ‘tough’ law

A SPECIAL session of the West Bengal Assembly will be convened on April 29 and 30 to introduce a Bill for protection of investors following the Saradha Group scam which has hit thousands of investors.

This is for the first time since 1960 when a special session of the Assembly has been convened to pass just one Bill.

After an all-party meeting in the Assembly on Friday, Speaker Biman Banerjee said that the new Interest of Depositors in Financial Establishments Bill, 2013 would be tabled on the second day after the customary obituary references.

He said that the session has been called keeping in mind the unrest created after the Saradha Group went bust affecting thousands of poor investors and the state government wanted to formulate a strong legislation.

"A motion will be moved to withdraw the West Bengal Protection of Depositors in Financial Institutions Bill, 2009, which was introduced by the previous Left Front government," he added.

The decision comes after a similar Bill passed by the erstwhile Left government was sent back to Governor M K Narayanan by President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday since the present Trinamool government had asked the President to do so as to "incorporate changes following the Saradha scam".

Deputy Leader in the House and Industry minister Partha Chatterjee said, the new Bill will have retrospective effect. Once the Bill is passed and becomes an Act, the new legislation will be able to effectively deal with the Saradha scam and other similar incidents, he said adding, the new bill will be more stringent and also empower authorities to confiscate assets of perpetrators of fraud.

CPM leader Anisur Rahman, however, claimed it was not possible to give retrospective effect to the new Bill and added: "The earlier one was equipped to deal with the present situation. We will see how the bill being brought by this government is going to be different."

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