By Madhu Chandra
Chief Minister N Biren Singh under his leadership has called for a war on drugs in Manipur and it has been actively carried out and reported the arrest of the traffickers on regular basis. Similarly, N Biren Singh needs to call for a war on unregulated depository schemes mushrooming in Manipur. The drug has destroyed many lives and will do the same with the future generation if the war on drugs is not launched and stop the menace. Similarly, the Ponzi swindlers will do the same with the economics of the state.
The Ponzi schemes are known as unregulated depository schemes operating in Manipur. Salai Holding Pvt. Ltd, Lamjingba Finance, Grow Manipur Team and PayGd Enterprises are a few known swindlers. It is believed hundreds of unknown swindlers operating in the valley and hill districts of Manipur, that has duped the hard-earned crores of rupees from the general public. From the sources of the newspaper, about 300 known groups are operating the unregulated depository schemes in Manipur. Some of the owners of these Ponzi schemes have gone hiding after duping crores of hard-earned money from people.
Prof. Amar Yumnam, retired Vice-Chancellor of Manipur University in a TV panel discussion held on one of the state’s leading TV channels said, “Money duped by these Ponzi Swindlers have not caused the loss of money from investors, this has affected the economic condition of the state. Therefore the state must not wait and watch.”
This has further caused the economics of the state that was hit already by the Covid-19 pandemic. Perhaps, it will take a long time to recover from the effect on the economy of the state.
Taking the example of Kakching in Manipur, 3,000 households out of a total of 7,000 households at Kakching has been affected by the swindle of PayGd Enterprises. There are still many unknown groups running the Ponzi scheme without returning the money to their investors. About Rs. 150 crores of hard-earned money has been duped from the public of Kakching alone and this has affected the economy of the Kakching.
If Ponzi Swindlers are not stopped by the government, the economics of the condition of Manipur will be badly affected. The Chief Minister, N Biren Singh must call for a war on Ponzi Swindlers. For this, a political willingness will require. Calling for a war on Ponzi Swindlers will require N Biren Singh to act the Act, which his Government passed toward the end of his first term as Chief Minister. His Government needs to break the silence.
The state government has already followed the Banning of Unregulated Depository Schemes Act passed by the Parliament in 2019. To implement the central law, the state Government has passed the Manipur Banning of Unregulated Depository Schemes Rules in 2021. Thereafter, under the provision of the Act, the state government has adopted the Competent Authorities for different districts of Manipur and designated a special court at Lamphel.
This has shown the keen interest of the state government in adopting the plan of action. Commissioner (Art and Culture) is appointed as Competent Authority for Imphal East and Imphal West, Commissioner (Revenue) for Bishnupur and Thoubal District, and Commissioner (Power) for the rest of the districts.
Now the Competent Authorities set up by Manipur Government for different states need to do their jobs entrusted under their authority. After much outcry from the public, some of these authorities have begun doing their job. The Competent Authority, Commissioner (Art and Culture), assigned for Imphal East and Imphal West has summoned Lamjingba Finance and its owner Sanasam Jacky Singh to appear before the concerned competent office on May 6, 2022. This is the first case handled by a competent authority. The other competent authorities for other districts still waiting for their turns.
Madhu Chandra is a Hyderabad-based freelancer and founder and former spokesperson of North East Helpline, New Delhi.