Ruckus in Assembly as Speaker rules against discussion on SARFAESI Act 2002

Ruckus in Assembly as Speaker rules against  discussion on SARFAESI Act 2002
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Kohima, February 13: The decision of the Nagaland Assembly Speaker Sharingain Longkumer disallowing any discussion on the Securitisation & Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement Interest (SARFAESI) Act 2002 created ruckus on the fifth day of Budget session of the State Assembly on Thursday.
As the House gathered after the Question Hour of the day, Speaker announced that the Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio would make a statement under Rule 55 pertaining to SARFAESI Act 2002. However Opposition MLA Chotisuh Sazo said that during the Assembly’s Business Advisor Committee (BAC) meeting it was admitted and listed in today’s list of business for discussion as discussion on matter of Urgent Public Importance but it was suddenly withdrawn.
“This is direct deprivation of the rights of the members. We the Opposition wants to raise important issues in public interest but the ruling bench don’t want to discuss any important issue concerning the public. We are not here only to listen to the government but raise important issues,” Sazo said.
Opposition leader T R Zeliang supporting the move said that SARFAESI Act was admitted in the list of business but withdrawn. He said the opposition does not have any objection in the Leader of House (LoH) delivering a statement on the issue but discussion should be allowed after it.
He said whether we (Assembly) accepts the Act or not is the issue… if we accept, implement it, if we don’t, it should go to the Select Committee of the Assembly, which will seek legal advice from the Advocate General but without doing that the Law and Justice Department has written to the Finance Department following which the banks have stopped giving loans to anybody by mortgaging of land and property. That is why we want to highlight the grievances of the people, he said.
As Rio stood asking to make the statement, Zeliang said the issue is raised by us (opposition) and not by the Government… why should the LoH make a statement.
However, Rio asked the opposition to let him make a statement and after that if the opposition has anything to stay they can seek time and the Assembly can have different time to discuss.
Speaker Sharingain Longkumer insisted that any clarification sought can be discussed in his chamber but nothing will be clarified in the well of the House while he cannot allow any discussions during this session.
MLA Imkong L Imchen while asking the Speaker to allow the members to speak said “it is the peoples’ House, but was flatly rejected by the Speaker.
The Chief Minister supported the Speaker saying he was right that no discussion is required. Making the statement on SARFAESI Act, 2002, Rio said the Act cannot be implemented in Nagaland in its present form since it comes in direct conflict with the land holding systems and restrictions on transfer of land.
Rio stated that on October 2019 the Cabinet examined the SARFAESI Act 2002 and decided that the Act can be adopted in the State of Nagaland only after it is ensured that transfer of property attached by banks is made to indigenous inhabitants of the State.
Rio said that banks have been requesting for implementation of the SARFAESI Act 2002 in Nagaland so that they can advance loans to customers against mortgage of immovable property/fixed assets in favour of the banks and case of default in repayment by the borrower, the Act will enable banks to confiscate and sell the property without intervention of Courts to realise their money.
Rio added that while the interest of the banks must be safeguarded, “we cannot dilute the existing provisions and permit banks to sell mortgaged immovable property to outsiders”.
Rio asserted that the assumption that Nagas are unable to avail loans from banks due to non-adoption of SARFAESI Act 2002 is misleading and erroneous as banks have adequate safeguards under existing laws (Nagaland Land and Revenue Regulation (Amendment) Act, 2002) in Nagaland to take possession of secured assets and sell them to realise their dues.
After Rio’s statement, the Speaker did not allow discussion, but Opposition leader Zeliang said if it cannot be allowed today it should be taken up by in the next two days before the session gets over as the next session would be held only in July-August and it would amount to depriving the rights of the members.
The statement made by the LoH is totally misguiding, he said, adding people have stopped getting bank loan while students are also not getting study loan since July 19, 2019 because of the letter of Law and Justice Department to Finance Department and copy endorsed to State Level Bankers Committee.
He sought clarification from the LoH asking whether the Law & Justice Department has written to the Finance Department based on Cabinet decision or based on the decision of the House. Otherwise this House alone is empowered to reject any Act passed by the Parliament and not by any department, he said.
But today law and justice department has written letter to the Finance Department not to agree to this Act and this is a new precedence set by the Law and Justice Department, he said.
People of the State and business community is deprived as you have stopped using our own law, Zeliang told LoH.
“If I allow clarification to be sought it will lead to discussion,” said Sharingain disallowing further discussion.
Rio responding to Zeliang’s claim that banks are not giving loan termed it as ‘false’ saying government has not received any complaint that banks are not giving any loan. (Page News Service)