Centre ready to help Odisha check chit fund frauds: Sachin Pilot

Bhubaneswar, July 19 (IANS) The central government is ready to provide all necessary help and assistance to the Odisha government to check chit fund frauds, Corporate Affairs Minister Sachin Pilot said here Friday.

"Chit fund companies need to be registered with the Registrar of Chit Funds. Every state in India appoints a registrar of chit. Chit Funds and Money Circulation Act, 1978 has to be enforced by the state government. Regulation of such companies is in the domain of the state governments," Pilot told reporters.

"Any help the state government wants (to deal with such crimes), the government of India will be happy to support it," said Pilot who was here to attend an investor protection and awareness programme organised by his ministry.

Pilot said the central government has already set up four offices of SFIO (Serious Fraud Investigation Office) in different parts of the country and decided to set one in Odisha to deal with such cases in eastern India. "The SFIO would be opened very shortly ... within next few weeks," he said.

He said the government is open to a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the chit fund fraud in the state, provided the request comes from the state government.

Responding to questions on the state government's actions against such frauds, the minister said he was aware that Odisha had set up a judicial commission to investigate the frauds but such cases needed criminal investigations.

He also emphasised on the need for proper probe so that people involved in such crimes did not escape. He urged the state government to take measures to recover the money of the investors.

"There must be a robust mechanism to recover the money. The recovery of money of smallest investors must be done quickly," he said.

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