Hyderabad: Social activists have demanded that the government rescue petty traders in the Old City from the clutches of interest sharks and introduce financial aid schemes for the purpose. These activists said they intended to take legal action against money lenders who harass borrowers for repayments.
Krishna Prasad, president of the Indian Nationalist Movement, said there was a need to extend hassle-free microfinance to petty traders from the government, without involving banks.
Affan Quadri, secretary, Mehr Organization, explained how the loans pile up, at a meeting held to take stock of loan menace in the Old City. He said that if someone in the family fell ill, a petty trader would use the money meant for purchasing material and take a holiday for a few days to tend to the ailing person. To resume his business, the trader would borrow money at high interest rates, Quadri said.
He said different kinds of loans were being provided by money-lenders and pawnbrokers. One mode, which most traders opted for, was daily lending. In this, traders borrow money after advance deduction of the interest amount in the morning and return the capital before 10 pm the same day.
The other mode is borrowing against gold or important documents, for which they have to pay interest on a weekly or monthly basis. The documents includes those of ownership of vehicle, property or the ration card or the Aadhaar card.
Social activist Mohammed Farooq said that two decades ago the South Zone police had taken stern action against the unauthorised money lenders but they had again emerged on the scene. Their activities will peak during the month of Ramzan, he said.
Farooq asked the government to provide adequate budgetary allocation for microloans to economically backward classes. A joint action committee was formed and Mohammed Abdul Ali Zubair made its convener.
Muneeruddin Mujahid said that in its next meeting, the JAC would chalk out a strategy to curb the atrocities of money-lenders. G. Jhansi of the CPI (ML), T. Rajender, Mohammed Abbas (AWAZ), Dr Yousuf Mulla Nizam, Sufi Khairuddin, Hamid Shuttari, Abdul Sattar, Syed Shamshad Quadri, Ahmed Yezadni and others spoke....