BOONI: While the State Bank did not issue a notification waiving agricultural loans of small farmers in the calamity-hit Chitral in line with the prime ministerís announcement of July 2015, private banks in upper Chitral have started lodging FIRs against the defaulters.

Some residents here said even though the prime minister had announced to waive the agricultural loans, bank officials were visiting houses of people and asking them to pay the loans with interests.

They said officials of different private banks were also threatening the people to pay the amount without any further delay or face police action. The officials were of the view that unless the State Bank issued a notification, the loans cannot be waived under any law.

Tehreek Huqooq-e-Awam upper Chitral leader, Muhammad Pervez Lal, said it was strange that even after 10 months the announcement of the prime minister could not be implemented to waive the loans and provide relief to the people of the calamity-hit area.

He confirmed that private banks had already lodged FIRs against a number of people on the charge of defaulting on the agricultural loans.

He said when agricultural loans were waived in the Malakand division a few years ago in the aftermath of the military operation against terrorists, the benefit was also provided to the people of Chitral only because of being a part of the Malakand division even though the valley was not that much affected by the law and order situation.

But he regretted that despite being devastated by the July-Aug floods and the Oct 26, 2015, earthquake and the announcement made by the prime minister, the loans of Chitralis were not waived only because the State Bank was yet to issue a notification.

He was of the view that it was the responsibility of our lawmakers, especially the MNA, to take up the matter up in the National Assembly so that the prime minister can be apprised of the situation.

He said nowadays due to the Panama Leaks, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was under an immense pressure and eager to meet every lawmaker and political leader. In this situation, our MNA should request for a meeting with the prime minister and inform him about the non-issuance of the notification about loans and other issues in Chitral.

He said if invited, the prime minister would also happily visit Chitral once again to review the reconstruction activities in the flood and quake-hit areas which could not be initiated yet.


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