Dasoju demands CM to abolish online loan apps & save innocent people from their clutches

Hyderabad, June 29 (Maxim News): AICC spokesperson Dr. Dasoju Sravan today demanded that Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao immediately abolish online loan apps, which have been committing brutal atrocities, unbearable harassment, and resorting to illegal practices, even leading to suicides and deaths of many innocent people.

Dr. Sravan wrote an open letter to the Chief Minister on Wednesday, exposing the murky web of illegal online loan apps, and urged him to set up a Special Task Force within the Police Department to crack down on all the online loan apps and ensure that they are completely shut down. “You are well aware that a dreaded and elongated COVID pandemic has played havoc with people’s lives in all spheres and especially many have broken down financially. Besides, declining economic growth, layoffs, rising inflation, and lack of new jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities have pushed people into severe financial stress.

During these troubled times, the traditional banking system, which needs to support the common man, has completely failed. As a result, many people have approached online loan apps for loans to attend to emergencies and difficult times, not knowing that they are getting into a murky web of harassment, fleecing, and cheating. Though these online apps offer loans at higher interest rates and charge exorbitant amounts in the name of the processing fee, late fee, and other pretexts, people are forced to approach these loan apps as they are completely let down by traditional banks, which turns a blind eye to poor and middle-class borrowers,” said Dr. Dasoju Sravan explaining backdrop in which these online loan apps are thriving.

“What’s shocking is these apps charge interests ranging from 30% to even an unbelievable 200% and collect more than double and triple amounts in many cases, citing various reasons. As most of these apps are illegal and do not have any valid registration, they resort to all sorts of immoral practices and fleece people. The situation gets even murkier when a person is compelled to default due to personal reasons. The operators of these online loan apps resort to dirty tactics for recollection. Due to the harassment of the recovery agents, several people have committed suicide. In short, the online apps have been operating as mafia organizations rather than as fintech companies. They are morphing the pictures of women, who availed of loans and posting their nude pics on social media.

Sharing the pictures and details of borrowers with their contacts to shame them, the recovery agents, who are mostly rowdy sheeters, goondas are attacking the residences of borrowers. One can imagine the shattering impact of acts like these on borrowers. As a result, several people, including even entrepreneurs, IT professionals, and others committed suicide unable to withstand the humiliation done by these online loan app operators.

Recently photos of a Hyderabadi woman, who defaulted to pay an EMI, were morphed into nude pictures and posted in Whatsapp groups, causing severe trauma to her and her family. Last year during the second wave of COVID-19, two private sector employees from Hyderabad committed suicide due to the harassment of online loan apps. It is very disheartening to say that incidents like these have become a regular phenomenon and it’s high time police crackdown on these unscrupulous online loan apps,” Dr. Dasoju Sravan said revealing the seriousness of the issue.

“Ironically both our public sector and private sector banks which readily offer thousands of crores of loans to influential persons, who willingly default, do not offer even small amounts to poor and middle-class Indians in times of need. A study conducted by an independent citizen group revealed ironic facts that about Rs 1.30 lakh crores of loan amounts were defaulted by just about 900 influential persons in banks situated in and around Hyderabad. But unfortunately, banks make a common man run from pillar to post for a loan of even Rs 10,000 loan citing various rules and regulations,” underlined a senior Congress leader on the occasion.

Saying that the inaction of Govt and Police on these illegal online loan apps, even after numerous disturbing events and complaints from victims, is emboldening the financial fraudsters, Dr. Dasoju Sravan pointed out that this is just the surface of a gigantic problem. “If the police start investigating, a dark underbelly of financial frauds will be revealed. The research and inquiry done by us revealed the shocking fact that more than 90 percent of online loan apps neither have NBFC registration nor are backed by any bank or NBFC.

After receiving calls for help from several victims, we made an observation that several locations in Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Noida, Gurgaon, Patna, Jammu, and other international locations such as Nepal, Middle East, Africa, and so on where these illegal online loan apps operate,” said Dr. Dasoju Sravan.

Therefore, the senior Congress leader demanded that Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao immediately establish a Special Task Force within the Police Department to crack down on all the online loan apps and ensure that they are completely shut down to save millions of innocent and hardworking people from the illegal, immoral and criminal online loan apps. He urged the Chief Minister to set up a separate Cyber Crime Police Team with a toll-free number and exclusive email ID to address this issue, as the crimes and complaints relating to online loan apps are rising steeply and rearing ugly head. He called for creating an interstate investigative team, with police from other States as members, as many online apps operate across India, especially from places like Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Noida, Bihar, Jharkhand, Nepal, and others.

“Govt should ensure that only those online loan apps, which have a valid NBFC registration and RBI approval, are hosted on Google PlayStore, Apple Store, and other App hosting platforms. Govt should also bring in a policy to ensure that public and private sector banks mandatorily give loans to small, medium, micro enterprises, middle-class salaried professionals, needy from lower income groups like roadside vendors, hawkers, street vendors, and new entrepreneurs to save them from the clutches of unscrupulous online loan apps and money lenders. In the absence of an effective banking system, people will again be left to the mercy of online loan apps and private moneylenders, who exploit vulnerable people,” demanded Dr. Dasoju Sravan suggesting measures to tackle the serious issue. (Maxim News)

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