Pay up or else… a shop owner’s mantra to get back dues

May 5th, 2008 - 9:50 am ICT by admin  

By Nityanand Shukla
Ranchi, May 5 (IANS) A betel shop owner here has come up with an innovative idea of getting back his dues - displaying the list of defaulters, including the names of some well-off people, and the amount they owe him. The ruse has worked. Mohhamad Riyaz, who runs the Manpasand betel shop, has put up a list of over 35 people who chewed betel leaves and sipped tea but did not pay up.

Over 100 to 150 people come to the shop located near Birsa Vihar on Main Road of Ranchi. People buy betel leaves or sip tea and soft drinks. While some pay, some prefer to buy on credit.

The defaulters’ list is prominently displayed at the shop. The credit range varies from Rs.24 and Rs.1,854. The list has columns for name, amount, address, telephone number, profession, and the date from when the defaulter did not turn up.

The list has helped Riyaz recover most of his money. “I came out with a list of defaulters in 2003. When I made the list public, the total credit amount was Rs.22,000, which has come down to Rs.13,000,” said Riyaz.

“Aaj nagad, kal nagad, udhar khabhi nahi” (Cash today, cash tomorrow and never on credit) is what he displays prominently on top of the list.

Though Riyaz has faced difficulties in recovering dues, he continues to oblige some people by giving credit.

“See my shop is located close to the state tourism department, income tax office and other offices. There are some people who come regularly to my shop.

“After initial payments on time, we have to oblige clients on credit. There are instances when the credit amount of a few consumers piled up and they stopped coming to my shop,” Riyaz told IANS.

“I am a businessman. In business one has to give things on credit. Some fail to pay and some pay back on time,” he added.

On what prompted him to come out with the list of defaulters, he said: “When the credit amount piled up to Rs.22,000, I was finding it difficult to survive in the business. Despite repeated requests, some did not pay my money.”

“I decided to come out with the list of defaulters for two reasons. Firstly to ensure that defaulters do not come to my shop. Secondly, the list also helped me in recovering the money,” he explained.

The success story of a betel shop owner seems to have inspired the State Bank of India (SBI).

Last year, SBI put up billboards at prominent places of the state capital listing loan defaulters. The hoardings had columns for the names, addresses and amount due from defaulters. But the columns of name and address were kept blank.

The hoarding said: “Do you want your name to be listed here? If not, then pay back the loan on time.”

“The response was tremendous. The loan recovery rate has increased in Ranchi,” said a senior SBI official.

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