Stricter Measures Planned
The Central Government is preparing to tighten its grip on unauthorized instant loan apps that have been implicated in cases of blackmail, threats, and even suicides. The government is planning to consult with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to create a whitelist of apps that will be allowed to operate legally.
Only RBI-Approved Apps to Stay
Only those instant loan apps that receive approval from the RBI will continue to function and will be available on platforms like Google Play Store and Apple App Store. All others will be removed. New guidelines will be established in a meeting with the RBI to create a set of standards that need to be followed by these apps.
The Minister for Electronics and IT, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, has stated that the government aims to make the internet safe and trustworthy for all citizens. The authorities are keeping an eye on all applications related to loan apps that Indians use on both the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. Additionally, Google and Apple have been directed not to include any unsafe or illegal apps on their platforms.
Recent Tragic Incidents
Last week in Kerala, two incidents were reported where individuals committed suicide due to pressures and blackmail from loan app companies. In one horrifying instance, a family of four took their lives after being harassed for the late repayment of a loan amounting to INR 9300 ($125 approx.).
According to reports, approximately 1050 instant loan apps are operating in the country, many of which are operating irregularly. Roughly 750 apps are considered illegal and are still available on the Google Play Store.
Where to Complain
The RBI has started a separate portal, Sachet, for grievances related to digital loan-giving apps. The portal has already been flooded with complaints since its inception.
|Total Number of Apps||1050|
|Apps considered illegal||750|
|Apps to be whitelisted||TBD after RBI consultation|
|Platform for Complaints||Sachet Portal by RBI|
|Recent Suicides Linked to Apps||2 cases in Kerala last week|
|Government’s Next Step||Consultation with RBI|
The government is keen to put an end to the misuse of technology for illegal loan practices, promising stringent actions in the coming weeks.