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काठमाडौंमा वायुको गुणस्तर: १५४

A solution to the meter badge problem

The commission formed a working group in the district administration office through the Ministry of Home Affairs and made a settlement between the victims and the creditors. Even in the absence of the commission, the work done by the task force should be continued. A legal system is necessary for that.
गौरीबहादुर कार्की

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The issue of unfair transactions (metering) has reached its peak at this time. Thousands of victims have come to the capital after 23 days of walking from Mechi-Mahakali and are struggling with hunger. However, the government has not paid attention to their suffering. In the districts of Madhesh province, since ancient times, when making Kapali Tamsuk, it was a custom to make Tamsuk of 30,000 if a loan of 10,000 was taken.

A solution to the meter badge problem

Decades later, unfair transaction practices began to take the form of metering. In Kathmandu, after a passenger boarded a metered taxi, the driver charged the meter Charged exorbitant rent by spreading

. Similarly, in household transactions too, after changing tamsuk frequently and charging excessive interest, such action of moneylenders came to be known as meterbaji. Due to such inhumane, illegal activities and behavior of moneylenders, the debtors became homeless. Even after the moneylenders took the houses and land from everyone, they started appealing to the federal government when there was no hearing from the municipality and the state government locally.

The government formed a commission on Chait 20, 2079 to solve the problem related to unfair transactions (metering) in agreement with the victims after the walking movement and widespread protest by the victims from Bardibas to Kathmandu. At present, the meter-biased victims are coming to the capital from both Mechi and Mahakali and are fighting in open fields in winter. While the commission was working according to its mandate, about 28,000 applications were received by the time limit that was repeatedly given to the victims. The center of the meter badge is 8 districts of Madhesh province and West Nawalparasi. About 24 thousand applications were received in these 9 districts. On the recommendation of the Commission, a working group consisting of Assistant Prosecution Officers, Assistant Public Prosecutors and Police Officers was formed from the Ministry of Home Affairs to mediate the petitions on behalf of the victims through discussion. From the same working group, discussions were held between the aggrieved debtor and the creditor, and settlement was started based on the agreement of both parties. As long as the commission was in existence, a settlement agreement was reached between Sahu and Asami on the petitions of 5 thousand 188 victims. As a result, 218 bighas (793 units) of land have been returned to Asami from the creditor. After demanding that 7 billion 62 million 80 million rupees are yet to be recovered from the creditor, it has been settled with an agreement between the two parties for 1 billion 72 million 86 million rupees. Creditors have dropped their claims of about 5 billion rupees. This confirms how terrible the meter badge is.

We have been accused of running away with 5,000 applications. 23 thousand applications are still pending. The commission's job is not to resolve the dispute between the victim and the creditor, but to suggest what the problem of unfair transactions is and how to resolve it. We requested the Ministry of Home Affairs to form a task force and solve this problem as it seems terrible. On the instructions of the Home Office, a working group was formed in the district administration office and a settlement agreement was reached between the debtors and the victims.

For good work, we went to the district and called the creditor and asked them to discuss and get a settlement. Some of the moneylenders also discouraged the administration by cutting the letter and filing an injunction case as soon as they were called. However, we encouraged them to work. Looking at why there is a need for loans, it is said that the poor in Nepal's Madhesh are born in debt, grow up in debt and die in debt. Due to poverty, there is no other option but to take a loan from moneylenders on a metered basis to avoid daily living, to treat illness in case of illness, to educate children. Marriage/vratabandh or death of

There is a compulsion to take loans from moneylenders for extravagant expenses, to go for foreign employment, to pay others' debts, to buy agricultural fertilisers, seeds, medicines, pump sets, for house construction/repair, to meet the requirement of tilak (dowry). And so many banks, financial institutions, cooperatives, microfinances were not found to be poor-friendly. There is no option to go to Sahu Mahajan under compulsion. Even if banks, financial institutions, cooperatives, and microfinance institutions have given loans, as soon as the demand is exceeded, there is a tendency to kill the land by auctioning it and later, the employees working in the said agency work together to sell their people at the lowest price.

It is well known that in order to solve the problems of the remaining 23,000 petitions and the missing ones as well, the Commission through the Ministry of Home Affairs has formed a working group in the district administration offices and is trying to reach an agreement between the debtor victims and the creditors, i.e. Mahajan. Even in the absence of the commission, the work done by the task force should be continued. A legal arrangement is required for that. It has been suggested to the government to add sub-section (7) after sub-section (6) of section 249A, which was added after section 249 of the Civil Crimes Code, 2074, to give the Chief District Officer the right to make a settlement in the operation of meter badges in order to solve the problem within two years. But the government has ordered all applications to be sent to the district police office for resolution by the police. Especially this problem is the state or local government. But that government doesn't care. Even the victims do not go to the local government.

When our office was inaugurated in Janakpur, the Chief Minister of Madhesh Province said that if the police were adjusted and given to the province, the meter badge problem would be solved in two days. No one thinks that the victims are their citizens. Moreover, the tradition of the poor Nimukha being considered as subjects is still alive. The state and the lower governments should move towards solving local problems. The police should be used as a last resort. It should be settled through reconciliation between debtor and creditor.

It is found that the political parties are depressed in this problem. Congress, UML, Madheshwadi Party, RPPA etc. are not seen as a problem with Meterbaj. This is the only problem of Narayankaji Shrestha of Maoists. Now, when there is so much movement of the victims, no one seems to think about what is the right solution. Everyone says that the demand should be addressed, but no one has any idea how to solve it. All parties should work together to find a solution to the national problem. This movement seems to have some political color. That too only of the Maoist party. The protestors who came from Bardibas after 11 days of walking and now after 23 days of walking belong to different groups. The previous ones were close to the Home Minister Shrestha group, while the current ones were raised and installed by the Maoist leaders against the Home Minister.

Even after the formation of the commission, the current group was on hunger strike in Ratnapark. By calling the current leaders of the movement, Nirga Naveen of Bajura and Awadhesh Kushwaha of Madhesh Parasi, we told them regarding their demands that the government should pay the money for tamsuk if it is to announce the cancellation of all tamsuk. Talk to the government about this. Cases that have been tried and decided in court are not dismissed. Except the Supreme Court, no judgment shall be overruled as long as there is a rule of law and a constitution. Regarding the fact that a powerful commission should be formed, even if such a commission is given authority, the judgments and pending cases of the court cannot be annulled. It is not even possible to talk about the case in court. Therefore, we said that it will only be possible if the system and the constitution are overturned by the entire revolution. Instead, we said that the victim and the creditor should be placed at the same table and discuss the truth and come to an agreement. They insisted that we do not accept this capitalist government. In West Nawalparasi, out of 1,862 applications, only 92 were settled. The debtor was not allowed to come to the discussion.

The struggle committee and their senior lawyers, the government and all the parties should come together and come up with a solution on how to deal with the ongoing agitation and the victims. The government should negotiate with their lawyers and representatives of all parties in relation to their demands that are not met by the constitution and the law. The question also arises as to why the Yatra victims came. If you do not have to pay the debt, it will be lost, the Tamsuk will be torn, and then the victims will come. Not only the supporters of Durga Prasain, but also the borrowers of banks and moneylenders will come to support this protest and procession tomorrow as they do not have to pay the loans of banks and moneylenders. Therefore, the victims came after they said they did not have to pay the debt.

The government should make public the suggestions given by the commission and start implementing them. If the recommendations given by the commission do not work, then this or that will not work, instead of that, the government should say that it is doing this or that. The Prime Minister said that this problem will be resolved through court action, and that the court is also being discussed. It cannot be said that the case related to meter badge should be won in the court. Even in the said clause, the court will not do so. Tamsuk will not be annulled, cases that have been tried and decided in the court will not be annulled, even the powerful commission of inquiry will only give legal advice. As there is no right to withdraw the case, it can be done through settlement. Even when we were a commission, we had to work from the task force, pragia and district police chief. Even if another investigation commission is formed now, the commission can be active as before and bring about a settlement between the debtor and the creditor. For this, the government should encourage people to work, those who work in the evenings and on holidays. When we were working, there was no support from the human resources. Even the lunch was not provided to those who worked at sea.

Since it is about Madhesh, it was also found that the representatives sitting in the working group of Sangharsh Samiti met both the debtor and the creditor in advance and said that I will settle the transaction for a low amount. The representative sent by this protest group to Sunsari was fired after it was reported that he demanded money. Therefore, it is difficult to work in Madhesh. It was found that the protestors also tried to cheat the victim.

It has been seen that a situation has arisen where the aggrieved debtor even had to commit suicide due to the dispute regarding check bounce. A bounced check is a transaction between two persons i.e. a civil case. A civil case should not be converted into a criminal case related to banking offences. Person-to-person transactions should be excluded from banking offenses, except when an organization cuts a check. As this case found that most of the debtors were in distress, it was suggested that there should be an amendment in the existing legal system regarding check bounce. But the government did not listen. As the current Banking Offenses and Punishment Act, section 3 (c) of the Banking Offenses Act, 2064 will affect the legal provisions related to banking offences, section 3 (c) of the current Act should be repealed and only the check cut by the institution should be prosecuted. The legitimate demands of

victims must be met. Addressing the demand means bringing the victim and the creditor together to find a solution through discussion. Locking up moneylenders alone will not solve the problem. There is no evidence from the victim to arrest the moneylender.

– Karki is the former chairman of the Investigation Commission on Unfair Transactions (MeterBadge), 2079.

प्रकाशित : फाल्गुन २२, २०८० ०८:४५
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