Police arrests staff of microfinance cos on harassment charge

Hyderabad: The Andhra Pradesh Police today said it has arrested three people working with SKS Microfinance and Spandana on a complaint of harassment by a borrower and might book the companies' respective promoters Vikram Akula and Padmaja Reddy under a new ordinance to check coercive methods of loan recovery, reports PTI.

The borrower, Ammulu, filed the complaint with the Yemmiganur police station in Kurnool district, about 270 km from here, last night. A case was registered under Section 16 of the AP Microfinance Institutions (Regulation of Money Lending) Ordinance-2010 and three persons belonging to SKS and Spandana were arrested.

"After investigation we came to know that the recovery officials were acting under the instructions of their company management. So under the new ordinance Vikram Akula and Padmaja Reddy may also come into the case," CH Srikanth, Superintendent of Police (Kurnool) told PTI today.

This is the first case booked in the state under the new ordinance issued a week ago.

Section 16 of the ordinance says all persons connected with and responsible for the day-to-day control, business and management of a microfinance institution, including the partners, directors and the employees, who resort to any type of coercive measures against the self-help groups or its members, or their family members, shall be liable for punishment of imprisonment, which may extend up to a period of three years or with fine which may extend to one lakh rupees or with both.

According to Kurnool police, Ammulu borrowed a total of Rs70,000 from SKS and Spandana and later defaulted on payments.

"She has been avoiding the collections officials of the companies for the past two months. According to the complaint lodged with us she is being harassed by the company officials for the repayment. We inquired in to the matter and registered cases," Guna Sekhar, inspector of police, Yemmiganur, said.

He said a case has been also booked under Sections 341 (Punishment for wrongful restraint) of IPC and sections related to word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman and punishment for criminal intimidation.

Arvind Rao, AP director general of police, said the department has been instructed to be strict on cases related to microfinance.

"We held video conference with the participation of all district SPs and commissioners of police and issued guidelines to book cases under the new ordinance," the DGP said.

The ordinance was aimed at regulating MFIs by making registration with the state compulsory and also disclosure of interest rate charged. The move came following reports of harassment of borrowers and also incidents of suicides although the companies denied that the suicides were unrelated to the loans.
 

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COMMENTS

Narendra Doshi

6 years ago

Excellent timely exposure. Keep continuous chase & we do hope at least some good results do come out at the end.

Rupee appreciation not abnormal: Pranab

Gyeongju (South Korea): Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee has said today that huge foreign institutional investor (FII) inflow reflects foreigners' confidence in the Indian growth story and is not a matter of concern as of now since the appreciation in the value of rupee is not abnormal, reports PTI.

"The rupee appreciation is not abnormal. As and when Reserve Bank of India (RBI) feels that intervention is necessary, they start intervening.

But I'm not very much worried because our situation will not be of that level," Mr Mukherjee said ahead of G-20 finance ministers meeting here.

RBI had intervened in markets last week to restrain a sharply appreciating rupee.

The finance minister said that if rupee continued to appreciate for longer, exports would be impacted.

"Export is definitely affected if it continues for a longer period of time," he said.

The Indian rupee has appreciated by around 5% this year so far, to stand at around Rs44.36 against a dollar.

The finance minister said FII inflows reflects momentum in growth of Indian economy.

"One of the reasons is that when the recovery process in industrial world is slow, naturally those who have investible resources would like to come to emerging markets and confidence of Indian economy has allured the investment," he said.

The Indian economy grew by 8.8% in the first quarter of this fiscal, while major countries in Europe and the US are struggling to revive from the global financial crisis.

FIIs have poured in record over Rs1 trillion in Indian stock markets in the current year so far.

Mr Mukherjee favoured dialogue to resolve the issues of currency war, particularly between US dollar and Chinese yuan, instead of confrontation.

He said he was not sure whether somebody will raise the issue at G-20 finance ministers meeting, and that India's stand would depend on how the issue was raised at the meeting.

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Friday’s Market Preview: Market likely to open higher

The Indian market is likely to open higher tracking the global markets. Wall Street ended with marginal gains in the midst of a volatile session on a stronger dollar and positive earnings reports. Markets in Asia were trading mixed in early trade on strong earnings figures posted by US companies and a fall in initial jobless claims in the world’s largest economy. The SGX Nifty was up 15 points at 6,135 compared to its previous close of 6,120.

The local market opened on a strong note on Thursday on positive cues from across the globe. Easing of weekly inflation numbers and good earnings figures gave the indices the much-needed boost, enabling them to erase the losses suffered over the past two days. The Sensex ended the day's proceedings at 20,260, up 388.43 points (1.95%). The Nifty settled at 6,101, up 119.40 points (2%).

US markets closed with marginal gains on Thursday amidst a choppy session torn between positive earnings reports and a strong dollar. The markets gave up gains seen in the morning session as the dollar rose, raising fresh concerns about a currency imbroglio.

On the economic front, initial jobless claims fell last week by 23,000 to 452,000, Labor Department figures showed on Thursday. The Conference Board’s measure of the outlook for the next three to six months rose 0.3%, in line with expectations.

The Dow added 38.60 points (0.35%) to 11,146. The S&P 500 rose 2.09 points (0.18%) to 1,180. The Nasdaq gained 2.28 points (0.09%) to 2,459.

Markets in Asia were mixed in early trade on strong earnings figures posted by US companies and a fall in initial jobless claims in the world’s largest economy. However, investors remained cautious ahead of the Group of Twenty (G20) meeting in South Korea, speculating that a consensus on the currency imbroglio remains obscure.

The Jakarta Composite was up 0.30%, KLSE Composite was up 0.15%, Nikkei 225 was up 0.37%, Seoul Composite was up 0.77% and Taiwan Weighted gained 0.34%. On the other hand, the Shanghai Composite was down 0.50%, Hang Seng shed 0.06% and Straits Times was down 0.02% in early trade. The SGX Nifty was up 15 points at 6,135 compared to its previous close of 6,120.

The finance ministry is believed to have disfavoured the imposition of import duty on power equipment for ultra mega power projects (UMPPs) for now — a move that could benefit private players that are looking to source equipment from abroad.

Sources said the finance ministry has decided against the imposition of import duty after consultations with the power ministry and public sector equipment major BHEL, besides representations made by private sector players through the Association of Power Producers.

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