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Opp leader seeks high-level probe into suicide cases

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Nov 3 - Leader of the Opposition in the Assam Legislative Assembly Debabrata Saikia today expressed concern over the suicide of five members of the same debt-ridden family at Tulsibeel under Gossaigaon subdivision, as well as the suicide of a bhaona attire supplier in Jorhat for the same reason, and called for a high-level enquiry into the whole issue.

He demanded that the Chief Minister should immediately announce a special financial package to assist the families, which have been adversely affected by the series of COVID-related lockdowns and the passing of a full-fledged law, promulgate an ordinance to rein in certain microfinance institutions (MFIs), which are luring people into a debt trap by giving loans on simple criteria and then charging compound interest from the debtors.

Saikia further demanded that the details of the funds collected from the public by the State government in the name of combating the COVID-19 pandemic should be made public and that the funds should be used for providing financial aid to the needy families.

�First, the Narendra Modi government crippled the unorganised economy of the country through demonetisation and then the Central and State governments virtually devastated small businesses and daily wage earners via unplanned lockdowns. Those who committed suicide due to poverty yesterday are the victims of the abject failure of the Modi and Sonowal governments,� he said.

Stating that some MFIs have aggravated the economic crisis in Assam, Saikia mentioned that in November last year he had apprised the Governor about �the nefarious activities of some MFIs� and he had also moved a �resolution proposal� in the Assam Legislative Assembly recently, seeking steps to regulate the activities of such institutions.

Saikia said he had written to the Chief Minister and the Chief Secretary of Assam on March 30, April 1, April 8, April 16, May 2, May 16, June 25 and July 12 about the economic hardship faced by common people and suggested several remedial measures, including a grant of Rs 7,500 per month to the needy families.

�However, the State government has utterly failed to take any steps to alleviate the misery of common people,� he said.

The senior Congress leader castigated Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, saying that with an eye on the ensuing Assembly elections, they are announcing sops like gold and money to open bank accounts, but the State government has left out those who have been ruined by the lockdowns, or those who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic, to face their fate.

�This type of policy has exposed the opportunistic and cynical mentality of these leaders,� Saikia said.

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Opp leader seeks high-level probe into suicide cases

GUWAHATI, Nov 3 - Leader of the Opposition in the Assam Legislative Assembly Debabrata Saikia today expressed concern over the suicide of five members of the same debt-ridden family at Tulsibeel under Gossaigaon subdivision, as well as the suicide of a bhaona attire supplier in Jorhat for the same reason, and called for a high-level enquiry into the whole issue.

He demanded that the Chief Minister should immediately announce a special financial package to assist the families, which have been adversely affected by the series of COVID-related lockdowns and the passing of a full-fledged law, promulgate an ordinance to rein in certain microfinance institutions (MFIs), which are luring people into a debt trap by giving loans on simple criteria and then charging compound interest from the debtors.

Saikia further demanded that the details of the funds collected from the public by the State government in the name of combating the COVID-19 pandemic should be made public and that the funds should be used for providing financial aid to the needy families.

�First, the Narendra Modi government crippled the unorganised economy of the country through demonetisation and then the Central and State governments virtually devastated small businesses and daily wage earners via unplanned lockdowns. Those who committed suicide due to poverty yesterday are the victims of the abject failure of the Modi and Sonowal governments,� he said.

Stating that some MFIs have aggravated the economic crisis in Assam, Saikia mentioned that in November last year he had apprised the Governor about �the nefarious activities of some MFIs� and he had also moved a �resolution proposal� in the Assam Legislative Assembly recently, seeking steps to regulate the activities of such institutions.

Saikia said he had written to the Chief Minister and the Chief Secretary of Assam on March 30, April 1, April 8, April 16, May 2, May 16, June 25 and July 12 about the economic hardship faced by common people and suggested several remedial measures, including a grant of Rs 7,500 per month to the needy families.

�However, the State government has utterly failed to take any steps to alleviate the misery of common people,� he said.

The senior Congress leader castigated Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, saying that with an eye on the ensuing Assembly elections, they are announcing sops like gold and money to open bank accounts, but the State government has left out those who have been ruined by the lockdowns, or those who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic, to face their fate.

�This type of policy has exposed the opportunistic and cynical mentality of these leaders,� Saikia said.

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