The panel sought views of fintech players on various trends in the field of cyber security and measures that could be taken to address such issues
The meeting also saw a debate on the issue of illegal lending apps operating in the country
Illegal lending apps are in the dock for allegedly harassing customers and charging exorbitant interest rates from users
A Parliamentary panel reportedly quizzed executives of startups and other stakeholders on the rising incidents of cyber crimes in the country.
Representatives of fintech giants such as Razorpay, PhonePe and CRED as well as quantum computing startup QNu Labs deposed before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance on the issue of ‘cyber security and rising incidence of cyber/white collar crimes. Besides, industry body NASSCOM was also part of the deliberations.
Sources told news agency PTI that the committee sought views of attendees on various trends in the field of cyber security and measures that could be taken to address related issues. The panel members also raised the matter of illegal lending apps during the discussion.
Headed by BJP member of Parliament (MP) Jayant Sinha, the committee also counts Congress MP P Chidambaram, TMC MP Sougata Roy and BJP Rajya Sabha member Amar Patnaik as its members.
This comes at a time when issues related to illegal lending apps have grabbed headlines across the country. At the centre of the row are Chinese lending apps that allegedly operate without oversight and charge exorbitant rates of interest from victims.
In many cases, these loan sharks have harassed victims to the extent that many have attempted or resorted to death by suicide. As cases began to pile up last year, this prompted renewed government scrutiny as the finance ministry, along with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) began instituting rules to curb the usage of such apps.
Earlier this year, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) banned more than 90 lending apps from app marketplaces as part of its larger crackdown on Chinese-linked apps.
Late last year, it was reported that the RBI was working with several central ministries to tighten the noose around illegal Chinese loan apps. The RBI also reportedly shared a whitelist of loan apps with stakeholders that could be listed on app marketplaces. Not just this, the central bank also issued digital lending guidelines, which sought to curb harassment of people availing credit online by digital loan sharks.
ED has also ramped up its crackdown on digital lending apps and has frozen crores of rupees as proceeds of crime in multiple cases involving Chinese entities. However, the spate of suicides involving such apps continues unabated.
Earlier last week, a 22-year-old man in Andhra Pradesh’s Bapatla died by suicide after being harassed by loan app operators. In February, an 18-year-old died by suicide due to a similar incident.