Mumbai: BJP Lok Sabha MP Kirit Somaiya, who is also a campaigner for investor rights, today claimed more than 200 Ponzi schemes involving a whopping Rs 4,00,000 crore are still in operation in the country as the market watchdog SEBI has failed to take timely action on these issues.
Somaiya said he will work towards getting rid of such fraudulent schemes, which mostly offer high returns within a short period of time, in 2016 and expose those who are operating them.
Blaming SEBI for failing to take timely action against Samrudha Jeevan and Sai Prasad – both Ponzi investment firms – in December 2010, Somaiya claimed the size of alleged fraud committed by the two entities would have been restricted to Rs 500 crore instead of Rs 7,000 crore now.
The BJP leader said he had brought the issue to the notice of then Congress-NCP Government in Maharashtra.
“In November 2012, I had spoken to then Home Minister R R Patil about the fraudulent methods of Sai Prasad scheme. However, action against Sai Prasad was taken only in December 2015,” he said.
Somaiya claimed more than 200 small and medium size Ponzi schemes are still operating in the country involving Rs 4,00,000 crore. Of these, Rs 2,00,000 crore is in schemes like Sai Prasad and Samrudha Jeevan.
“Mahesh Motewar, who raised Rs 278 crore from farmers on behalf of Prosperity Agro, invested it in private news television channels and used them to promote his Ponzi schemes despite SEBI banning Samrudha Jeevan in 2013,” he said.
Motewar is Chairman of Pune-based collective investment scheme company Samrudha Jeevan Foods India, which is mired in chit fund scam.
Giving a list of 193 Ponzi companies, he said of these 165 operate in Maharashtra. He urged people not to fall prey to allurement of quick gains in short time.
The BJP MP from Mumbai North-East also spoke about suburban train services in the metropolis.
“As many as 500 new coaches will be introduced this year. Besides this, the height of 93 platforms in the suburban section shall be raised. Moreover, the Central Railway with the help of Government agencies, college students and passenger associations shall try to reduce fatalities at 24 accident prone sites,” he said.