Protests against NGO -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Protests against NGO

SAHIWAL, Jan 14: Dozens of micro-credit borrowers protested in front of the office of a non-government organisation (NGO) here on Wednesday against forced recovery of installments.

The protesters said the NGO had waived their loans, but local staff was extorting money through installments. The NGO, however, denied announcing any such waiver and called it disinformation.

The protesters largely belonging to Jahaz Ground, Imamia Colony, Bhuttonagar, Gujar Aahta and Chak 82/6-R localities gathered in front of the NGO’s office.

They claimed that the NGO’s central office had waived their loans, but the local staffers were resorting to forced collection through installments.

NGO’s media coordinator Nasir Mumtaz, however, denied any such waiver.

“How can their organisation exempt clients to whom it was providing loans at a 20 per cent interest rate? It is baseless and illegal propaganda simply to defame the organisation,” he said.

Dawn learnt from sources around 310,000 women had benefited the micro-credit programme with 99 per cent recovery ratio.

The NGO is providing micro-credit to women by borrowing money both from commercial banks on a 17 per cent interest rate under State Bank rules and regulations and also from its own resources.

TOBA TEK SINGH: Several women also staged a demonstration to protest forced recovery of small loans in Kamalia. Earlier, they had staged a sit-in in front of the NGO’s office two days ago.

The demonstrators also staged a sit-in for around one hour in front of the NGO’s office on Wednesday.

Speaking on the occasion, Rabia Malik said their loans had been written off by the former NGO chairperson, but the new management was recovering loans by harassing the borrowers.

She urged the government to take notice of the harassment.

Source: Dawn

Date:1/15/2009