A lawyer on Tuesday filed a writ petition with the High Court seeking its directives for the closure of unregistered high-interest private lending in rural areas across the country.
In the writ petition, 136 persons including the finance secretary, home secretary, law secretary, Bangladesh Bank governor, Inspector General of Police, deputy commissioners and superintendents of police in 64 districts, have been made respondents.
The High Court bench of Justice Abu Taher Md Saifur Rahman and Justice Zakir Hossain may hold a hearing on the writ petition next week, said barrister Syed Sayedul Haque Suman, who moved the petition in the public interest.
Barrister Sumon said high-interest private lending is going on under the guise of cooperative societies in every village of the country. Again, many are also pursuing high-interest rates as private lending. They have no registration to lend.
"Ordinary people have become hostages to these private lenders. The amount of interest they collect on a weekly and monthly basis is skyrocketing. The interest per week for Tk10,000 is Tk500-600 and in some cases, it rises to Tk1,000. They collect up to Tk2,000-2,500 I n interest per month," he added.
He said many families have become destitute bearing the burden of high interest on loans taken from unregistered cooperative societies.
In many cases, private lenders are carrying on before the very eyes of the administration.
"So I have filed a writ petition with the High Court seeking directives to close all unauthorised lending businesses across the country," he added.