RBI’s Sachet to combat Ponzi schemes

Tue, 2016-08-23 12:41 -- SCC India Staff

Ponzi Scheme

India, the third largest economy in the world, has been hit by many Ponzi schemes and economic offences in recent years. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has launched a massive “Ponzi scheme hunt” by filing nearly 567 prosecution cases. A report by the market regulator has said that Ponzi schemes have been used as a tool for money laundering, utilised by anti-social elements.

But now, here is some good news. Outgoing RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan has given a farewell gift to Indians in the form of Sachet, a grievance redressal mechanism. Sachet literally means to “be cautious”.

How it will work
A website (www.sachet.rbi.org.in) introduced by RBI will coordinate between regulatory authorities and law enforcement agents throughout India, so that any unscrupulous money-raising activities can be curbed.

Victims of illegal financial schemes can file complaints after entering their details. They can also upload the relevant documents. On filing, users get a complaint number and details of the regulator that will be responsible for resolving the issue, via text message and e-mail.

The website will be solely managed by RBI with stakeholders on board including SEBI, insurance and pension regulators, and the National Housing Board.

Being Sachet
According to an RBI media release, the website has investor complaint pages, which have incorporated various regulators, and even a link for those who are confused over which regulator to approach. The website’s complaint tracking system is based on a mobile number, email, or complaint number, helping the complainant track a grievance online. This is the first time in India that the apex bank has opened a discussion forum.

People can also use the website to get detailed information on companies that are authorised to collect deposits and complain if they are cheated by unauthorised operators.

Sachet allows individuals to file a complaint on a common platform where the regulator concerned can process it, even if the individual is not aware of the regulator for a particular company. The NHB page has listed entities whose registration has been withdrawn or cancelled, or have prohibitory orders against them. This is very useful for Indians who invest a big chunk of their savings in their homes.