State gets tough on moneylenders | india | Hindustan Times
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State gets tough on moneylenders

Moneylenders will be given licences only if a majority of villagers decide in favour of it.

india Updated: Feb 25, 2010 02:13 IST
Sayli Udas Mankikar

Moneylenders will be given licences only if a majority of villagers decide in favour of it.

The Cabinet, on Wednesday, cleared changes in the Moneylenders Act, 1946 to make it stronger.

The amendments will give villagers a say in the process of granting licences to moneylenders. If the gram panchayat finds that a licensed moneylender is exploiting farmers, it can revoke his license.

Principal Secretary, Marketing, S.K. Goyal said four major changes have been proposed. “Moneylenders will not be able to approach civil courts to challenge decisions taken by the administration on matters of disputes,” Goyal said.

“Administrative officers have been given more powers, and if moneylenders want [to challenge those] they will have to approach the high court.”

Most farmers’ suicides in Maharashtra — 12,493 farmers committed suicide in Vidarbha between 2006 and 2008 — have taken place where farmers depend on the informal system of lending money.

Unlicenced moneylenders do not maintain accounts books and charge high rates of interest.

The government now wants to ensure that the interest paid by a farmer does not exceed the principal amount.

“We have proposed 40 amendments which will mainly take care of the informal moneylenders farmers have to deal with,” said Minister for Cooperatives, Harshavardhan Patil.

Stamp duty gets easy

The Cabinet has cleared a proposal for making the stamp duty registration process easier, starting with Mumbai, Thane and Pune.

Hindustan Times had reported on February 24, that the Revenue department will introduce an online facility that will help users book a time slot for registration and payment.

The project will cost Rs 1,11.3 crore. There will be 16 registration and 61 sub-registration offices in these three areas.