Govt to scrutinise role of licensed money-lenders

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Kolkata, Mar 1(UNI) While waiving Rs.60,000 crore agricultural loan in the Union budget, the Government is likely to scrutinise the role of licensed money-lenders in the plight of farmers.

" We will discuss it in Parliament to ascertain whether the licensed money-lenders are going by the law of the land. We have to decide what to do if they are found to be charging higher interest," Union Minister Priyaranjan Dasmunshi told reporters today.

While replying to a question on the effectiveness of the loan waiver, Mr Dasmunshi admitted that the huge number of private money- lenders was a problem for the Indian farmers to come out of debts.

He also admitted that it was not immediately possible for the Centre to take measures against those in lending business without license and getting the farmer entrapped in high interest.

"It is a major and important aspect. But the Centre can only get to the licensed money lenders. The state Governments and political parties ought to look into the role of the unlicensed ones," he said.

Mr Dasmunshi, who was addressing a press conference as the newly appointed President of West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee, said the party had been instructed to make the farmers aware in remote places of the Government's move to waive their bank loans and help them in this regard.

He said precautions were being taken at the party level against 'touts' taking advantage of the Government move and misleading the farmers for their personal gains.

In reply to a question, whether the UPA Government would go for Lok Sabha polls ahead of the schedule, Mr Dasmunshi reiterated that the Congress-led coalition would complete its full term in power.

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