It was reported to Lanka News Web that an agent of a micro-finance institution had threatened an 80-year-old mother of a woman who took a loan.
After I became unable to pay back the loan, microfinance agents started coming to my home at night and intimidate me, she said.
She added: “Sometimes they come to my home at around 8 pm and wouldn’t leave. Sometimes I hide, and then they scold my old mother.”
“I had a small land. I had to sell it to pay loan installments. Now I don’t have a place to stay, so I’m living with my mother.”
Recently the mother had received a telephone call at around 11 pm. An agent of a microfinance institution had scolded her over her daughter being unable to pay back the money. When she said that she will lodge a complaint with the police, he responded, “Do whatever the …. you want!”
She also revealed that microfinance agents frequently send inappropriate SMSs to her mobile phone.
Both the Finance Minister and State Minister of Finance have stated that victims of microfinance loans must seek the assistance of police with regard to harassments they face. At a meeting held in last March with civil activists, Finance Minister and Finance Ministry officials said that a female police officer would be appointed at police stations to assist women who are facing difficulties due to microfinance loan related issues. So far, however, the government has not taken any further step in this regard.
Instead, we can see how microfinance agents are mocking the country’s law.
- By a special reporter