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November 8, 2018

Law to end exploitative private lending to farmers on the cards


November 8, 2018

The Sindh government is likely to enact a law to take firm legal action against the practice of usury, providing loans at very high interest rates, continuing in the province on a private basis, causing exploitation of poor farmers that has in some recent extreme instances led to them committing suicide.

In a press statement issued on Wednesday, Adviser to the CM on Information and Law Barrister Murtaza Wahab said that the Sindh government had initiated the basic process of research to enact a law against the exploitative practice of usury in the province causing immense exploitation of poor farmers.

He said that once the research was completed, the matter would be taken to the Sindh cabinet and it would decide finally whether or not to go ahead with the plan to enact a law against the continuing cruel practice.

According to Wahab, the provincial government had come to know through reports in the media and the local administration that the exploitative practice of usury was the real reason behind some recent suicides by farmers in the drought-hit Tharparkar.

The adviser said that usury had been proven highly exploitative for the farmers who during extreme drought conditions could not repay the loan earlier availed by them from the callous lenders on a private basis.

The social and economic pressure built for the defaulting farmers and became so compelling that in certain instances they had been left with no option other than taking their own lives, he said.

Meanwhile, the Sindh Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE), on the directives of information and anti-corruption adviser, conducted a raid on Wednesday and demolished several illegal water hydrants in Rizvia Society that had been carrying out their operations unlawfully within the premises of private residences of the area.

Pipelines of five to six inches in diameter were being used in the area to illegally draw water from the main supply line. The raid was conducted by the District West Zone of the Anti-Corruption Establishment.

A statement issued in this regard said that similar raids would be conducted in other parts of the city as well to take firm action against the unlawful practice of operating illegal hydrants that had been causing immense harm to the water supply network of Karachi.

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