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Shut down unlicenced microcredit lenders: HC

Published : Tuesday, 28 September, 2021 at 12:00 AM  Count : 353

The High Court on Monday directed the government to shut down the offices of unlicenced financial and microcredit institutions immediately and to take appropriate legal actions against those.
In response to a writ petition, the court also ordered Bangladesh Bank to form a special committee to probe into the activities of such unauthorised financial and microcredit institutions and submit a report to the court within 45 days after receiving the copy of the order.
Moreover, the HC asked the microcredit regulatory authorities to submit a list of names of local money lenders that have no licence
and are lending money at high interest rates.
At the same time, the court issued a rule asking the authorities concerned of the government to show causes why their failure to monitor and supervise the activities of unauthorised institutions should not be declared illegal.
The HC bench of Justice Abu Taher Md Saifur Rahman and Justice Md Zakir Hossain issued the order and rule after hearing a writ petition that sought its directive on the government to ban informal money lending business across the country.  
Supreme Court lawyer Syed Sayedul Haque Suman, on September 7, submitted the petition as a public interest litigation to the HC -- also challenging the failure and inaction of the respondents regarding informal money lenders from lending money with exorbitant interest rates.
In the writ petition, he mentioned the secretaries concerned of the ministries of finance, home, law and social welfare, governor of Bangladesh Bank, inspector general of police, deputy commissioners and superintendents of police of all 64 districts of the country as respondents.
After filing the writ petition, Sumon said, "In every area of the country, there is a business of private lending in the name of cooperative society. People are pursuing high-interest rates in the name of private lending."
Therefore, many families have become destitute bearing the burden of high interest on loans taken from unregistered cooperative societies, he said.
In recent days, Ehsan Group allegedly embezzled Tk 17,000 crore defrauding thousands of people using their religious faith.
Controversial e-commerce platform Evaly owes more than Tk 1,000 crore to customers and merchants.

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