It is heartening to note that Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley warned people not to invest in crypto currencies like Bitcoin likening them with Ponzi schemes. Already several millions of people lost billions of dollars during the last 25 days when the price of Bitcoin has come down from $ 17,000 to 7,000. Saner elements have been warning people not to invest in such dubious currencies but people never hear them.
Act on Ponzi schemes
These Ponzi schemes are being run in the name of direct selling, multilevel marketing, network marketing and other fancy names bleeding the very economy of the country. There is a wonderful enactment called Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act, 1978 with the help of which these Ponzi schemes could be curbed with iron hand provided there is political will.
Ironically, there is no political will to curb this menace. In spite of the judgements of various high courts and even the Supreme Court, these companies have been running their outfits with impunity cheating people and lining their pockets with ill-gotten wealth.
The Andhra Pradesh High Court in 2007 delivering judgment in a writ petition filed by one of such outfits categorically stated that the scheme run by this multinational direct selling company attracts the provisions of the PCMC Act hence illegal.
Later, the Supreme Court also upheld that judgment. Still, along with that MNC, a number of such direct selling companies are operating all over the country. A number of dubious companies have been running Ponzi schemes in the name of real estate, plantation and what not. These outfits are not afraid of the law as they are a law unto themselves.
A dubious company in the North amassed Rs 40,000 crore while another company in the North-East collected Rs 20,000 crore and another company in the South collected Rs 6,000 crore illegally from people in the name of real estate. Surprisingly, all these schemes run by these companies are nothing but Ponzi schemes.
It is really sad, that in spite of the efforts of the judiciary, these investors have little chance of getting back their hard-earned money from these cheating companies. It would be better if the Union Finance Minister concentrated on these dubious companies by stopping them from cheating people instead of warning people not to fall prey for Ponzi schemes.
It is the duty of the government in general and law-enforcing agencies in particular to prevent crime and detect after the crimes are committed. There is neither prevention nor detection against these Ponzi schemes in the country. A real sad state of affairs indeed!