About eight years after it was mooted, the money-lending law will become a reality and an ordinance will be issued soon. The Maharashtra Moneylending (Regulation) Bill has got the nod from the president after almost four years since it was sent first.
However, activists, who fought for a law against money lenders, say that the state could have done better as the bill in the present format has a limitation effect. The law was framed in the state after farmer suicides became rampant due to troubles caused by moneylenders.
Buldhana-based activist Arun Ingle, who has been fighting for the cause of farmers distressed by moneylenders, said that the law has a limitation effect. “This means that if a case was filed five years ago, provisions of the new Bill will have no effect on it. We want all moneylending cases to be included under the new law,” he said.
The state government, which has received a nod from the home ministry, will soon issue an ordinance. The Bill imposes a penalty of Rs50,000 and an imprisonment of five years for conducting illegal moneylending activity. Even licensed moneylenders, who do not adhere to statutory norms, will be penalised Rs25,000 and imprisonment for a year.
The state ordinance will be converted into a Bill during the forthcoming session of the state legislature scheduled to begin on February 24.