Cabinet Sub Committee Meeting loan Commission Agents
Plan to bring Commission agents under Money Laundering Act.
Updated account statements of debt to be submit to the Government.
Chandigarh: There is proposal to bring the Commission Agents (CAs) of the state under the Money Laundering Act. According to high level sources, this issue is being brought out in the Cabinet Sub Committee Meeting, which was constituted to look into the loan given by the Commission Agents to farmers. According to act, no money lender shall carry on the business of advancing loans unless he gets himself registered before the Collector of the concerned district. To give the final touch this report, a decision likely be taken in the Cabinet Sub Committee Meeting, scheduled to be held tomorrow, in Chandigarh. On the other hand, the commission agents have started to mobiles themselves after feeling the intimation of this possibility.Capt Amarinder Singh’s government had acquired power over the issue of debt of farmers and their suicides. The Chief Minister has already announced the issue of bank loan waiver. But he had said about the loan of CAs as their accounts were not known to anyone. CM has formed a cabinet sub-committee to look into the loan by commission agents. This committee comprises Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, Manpreet Singh Badal, Rana Gurjit Singh, Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa and MLA Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi.This committee has held meetings with farmer’s leaders, leaders of commission agents’ organisation, agricultural and other experts. The process of this sub-committee is almost complete and final report is to be prepared. According to sources, there are some suggestion including the issue of passbooks for loan given to farmers, so that detail of every amount taken, paid and amount of interest should be recorded. There are approximately 50 thousand commission agents in the state, but few of them have issued pass books. Of which, the Chairman of Punjab Mandi Board, Lal Singh is also the one who has implemented this system in its own commission agent business.Apart from this, there is also an issue of rate of interest between 15 to 18 percent annually. It has also been mentioned that simple rate of interest and interest on till date of utilised amount. Whole accounts should be maintained. Farmers can sell their crops out even if they get better price. It is also a recommendation that commission agents should be brought under the Punjab Registration of Money Laundering Act.Currently, there are some finance companies, brokers, and some industrialists’ etc. fall under this act in Punjab. Interestingly, the name of the commission agent is also included in section 11 of this Act. But no Government could not able to practically implement this section. According to act, no money lender shall carry on the business of advancing loans unless he gets himself registered.According to sub section 4 of section 3 of this act, any money lender who contravenes the provisions shall be liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding one thousand rupees for the first offence and two thousand rupees for every subsequent offence and his license can be also cancelled.According to this Act, the lender has to keep and submit the updated account record before the district collector. Seeing the possibility of this act, the Federation of Aarhti Association of Punjab has started mobilising themselves against the possible development.Interestingly, the association had conferred Chief Minister Amrinder Singh with Fakhr-e-koum award in Chandigarh on July 4 of this year. It is also interesting facts that out of 50 thousands of commission agents, 25 percent are those who have also agriculture profession as well as.It is also fact the commission agent system exists only in Punjab and Haryana. Approximately 15 lacs farmers and 10 lacs labourers are depended directly or indirectly with commission agents.
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