Here is all about a new initiative by RBI to restrain illegitimate money collection schemes:
It was as recent as December 2015, when one of the Ponzi schemes came into limelight. It was with the arrest of the chief of Sai Prasad Group of Companies, he was arrested for collecting up to Rs. 2000 crores from around 20 lakhs small investors, violating the SEBI rules. The company collected the money from the investors promising them to pay very high returns despite not having permission from SEBI to run the scheme. After the investigation, around 190 accounts were frozen in 15 banks.
There have been many such schemes in the past which has come under scrutiny post the complaints from the investors, like “Contract Emu Farming” scheme in September 2012 that was involved in a scam of around $28 million, Saradha Chit Fund Scam in 2013 which was involved in allegedly collecting around 200 to 300 billion from over 1.7 million depositors.
Under such schemes, entities allegedly collect money from the new investors and pay returns to its old or original investors. This process continues until the time there is an inflow from the new investors . Once the inflow stops and the company run out of money, the scheme falls apart.
To deter entities from carrying out such unlawful activities and help members of public to deposit their hard earned money with genuine entities, RBI on August 04, 2016 launched “Sachet” portal.
Features of “Sachet” portal
• It will allow you to obtain information regarding the entities and find out whether a particular entity looking to accept deposits is registered with any of the regulators or not and whether the entity is allowed to accept deposits or not.
• The portal will allow you to lodge a complaint against any entity which has illegally accepted deposits from you and has defaulted in the repayment of the deposits. You can also track your complaint status on the portal.
• It allows people to share information whenever they come to know about such entity.
• The portal will be useful in keeping a check on illegal acceptance of deposits by the unscrupulous entities through enhanced coordination among the State Government agencies and various Regulators.
• The portal incorporates regulations prescribed by all financial regulators that different entities have to follow.
• It also contains a section for closed user group from State Level Coordination Committees (SLCCs) allowing them to share market intelligence and other pertinent information on their activities which also includes agenda and minutes of their meeting across the country on a real time basis.
Who are State Level Coordination Committees (SLCCs)?
All the States/Union territories in India have State Level Coordination Committees (SLCCs). It comprises of various regulators such as Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), Reserve Bank of India (RBI), National Housing Bank (NHB), Registrar of Companies (ROC), Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA), and concerned State Government Departments such as Finance Department, Law Department, Home Department and various Police Authorities. It was constituted in 2014 to monitor unauthorised deposits. SLCCs frequently meet with the top officials from all these agencies participating, to share information on the entities involved in the unauthorised acceptance of deposits and initiate action against them in a timely manner.
Important FAQs on “Sachet”
• What category of complaints can I lodge through this portal?
Sachet portal has been created to facilitate lodging of any complaint on schemes/deposits of various companies.
In case you have any complaint against any entity which has defaulted in repayment of money/deposits collected from you illegally under any scheme, you can file a complaint against the entity on Sachet portal.
• What is the process for filing complaints?
You have to visit the below link for filing the complaint:
Here is the screenshot of the page for your reference:
On this page, you can file a complaint by clicking on the concerned Regular/Authority and following the requisite procedure. You can also track your complaint on this page through your Mobile Number, Complaint Number or Email ID.
If you are not aware of the regulator under whom the company falls; you have to visit the “Click here” link at the bottom of the page and fill the below details in the form available on the link:
1. Your Name
2. Your Email ID
3. Your Mobile Number
4. Name of the Company against which you have a complaint
5. Company Address
6. Name of the State
7. Complaint Title(Select any one of the below from the dropdown list)
Non-Repayment of Deposits
Non-Repayment of money collected for various Investment schemes
Entities vanishing after collecting processing fees for cheap loans, etc.
8. Complaint Description
9. You can also attach any requisite file in support of your complaint
Once you have filled the form, you can submit the details. The SLCC portal administrator will try redirecting your complaint to the most appropriate regulator.
• In how many days the complaint will get resolved?
There is no definite time for the resolution of the complaint as the resolution may depend on several factors including the legal procedures.
• How can I get the updates regarding my complaint?
You will receive the contact details of the regulator/authority through SMS and Email, once your complaint has been forwarded to the concerned regulator/authority. You can contact on the email address received in the SMS/Email for the update on your complaint. In case, you don’t receive any contact details; you can contact SLCC team on the email address received in the acknowledgement mail.
“Help your Regulator”
In case you find any suspicious activity on unauthorised acceptance of money/deposit under any scheme, you can notify the regulators by clicking on the “Help Your Regulator” tab on the portal. You can also attach any relevant documents/pictures to support your information which will be examined and used for further action by the regulators.
Here is the screenshot of the page for your reference:
Note: In case, you don’t want your name to appear while sharing the information, you have the option of sharing the information anonymously.
Procedure to check whether an entity is eligible to accept deposits
If you would like to know whether an entity is registered with any of the regulators and is eligible to accept the deposits, you can do so on the “Sachet” portal. All you need to do is visit the link below:
Navigate through the “Registered Entities” section and click on the regulator’s link you would like to check. Regulators listed on the “Sachet” portal are:
• Reserve Bank of India (RBI)
• Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)
• National Housing Bank (NHB)
• Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA)
• Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA)
• Central Registrar of Cooperative Societies (CRCS)
The entities and their respective regulators are listed in the below table:
Some of the exclusions from accepting deposits includes but not limited to:
• Any Unincorporated bodies like individuals, HUF, partnership firms, and other association of individuals are not allowed to accept any deposit if they are carrying on any kind of financial business as per section 45S of the RBI Act,1934.
• Salary Earner’s Society cannot accept deposit from the public as they are formed for salaried employees and hence they are allowed to accept deposits only from their own members and not from others.
• Chit funds companies are prohibited from accepting deposits by RBI. As per section 45I (bb) of the RBI Act, any subscription to Chit fund is specifically ruled out from the definition of deposit and cannot be termed as a deposit.
“Sachet” is certainly going to be a guiding torch for investors, as it will help them in identifying the entities that are authorised to collect deposits, thereby empowering investors to invest their hard earned money in a prudent way. It will also help the government to put a break on all such illegal entities by initiating a quick follow up and punishing the guilty from carrying out any unlawful activity.