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MEITY says Chinese lending app fiasco is a state subject

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) says that it is the responsibility of state governments to investigate cases of malpractices by predatory digital lending apps. Despite receiving complaints concerning fraud and harassment by these app operators, the MEITY did not provide information on the government's stance on the Chinese-backed lending app fiasco, in response to Parliamentary questions. IT Minister for State Sanjay Dhotre said that as of January 20, 2021, Google had removed 100 digital lending apps on its app store after law enforcement agencies took up the matter with the tech-giant. "The complaints are mainly related to high interest rates, alleged collection of personal data and its misuse, fraudulent and unlawful practices of physical threats and use of other coercive methods for recovery of loan. Few cases have also been filed in the courts," he said. The questions filed by Bharatiya Janata Party Member of Parliament Kanak Mal Katara sought the government's position on the spate of predatory lending apps on Google's Android Play Store. While the ministry met with Google for prevention, detection and removal of these fraudulent apps from their Play Store, Dhotre said that state governments are responsible for prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of crimes including misuse of social media through their law enforcement machinery since ‘police’ and ‘public order’ are State subjects as per the Constitution. He further added that National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal operated by the Ministry of Home Affairs records all cyber complaints and incidents, which law enforcement agencies…

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