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Business News/ Economy / Google suspended over 2,500 fraudulent loan apps from Play Store, says FM Nirmala Sitharaman
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Google suspended over 2,500 fraudulent loan apps from Play Store, says FM Nirmala Sitharaman

The finance minister added that the government is constantly engaged with the Reserve Bank of India, and other regulators and stakeholders concerned to control fraudulent loan apps.

(File) Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman speaks in the Lok Sabha during the Winter Session of Parliament in New Delhi. (ANI Photo/Sansad TV) (ANI)Premium
(File) Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman speaks in the Lok Sabha during the Winter Session of Parliament in New Delhi. (ANI Photo/Sansad TV) (ANI)

Google has suspended or removed over 2,500 fraudulent loan apps from its Play Store between April 2021 and July 2022, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha on December 18.

The finance minister added that the government is constantly engaged with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and other regulators and stakeholders concerned with controlling fraudulent loan apps, adding that the matter is regularly discussed and monitored in the meetings of the Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC).

The minister said the aim is to remain proactive, maintain cyber security preparedness with constant vigilance, and take appropriate and timely action to mitigate any such vulnerabilities in the Indian financial system.

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On the steps taken to control fraudulent loan apps, Sitharaman said the RBI has shared a 'whitelist' of legal apps with the government of India. She also said that the list was shared by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity) with Google, whose app store is the primary source of distribution of digital lending apps.

Apart from this, she said that Google has updated its policy regarding enforcement of loan lending apps on the Play Store and deployed additional policy requirements with strict enforcement actions for lending apps in India.

According to Google's revised policy, only those apps are allowed on the Play Store which are published by Regulated Entities (REs) or those working in partnership with REs.

"Between April 2021 and July 2022, Google also reviewed approximately 3,500 to 4,000 loan lending apps and suspended or removed over 2,500 fraudulent loan apps from its Play Store," she said.

The FM said the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C), Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), has been regularly analyzing the digital lending apps proactively.

Based on analysis and complaints reported on the National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal, the I4C team analyses apps on various parameters and reports to Meity apps found suspicious for blocking, she said.

In a separate response, Sitharaman said more than 44.46 crore loans amounting to 26.12 lakh crore (as of November 24, 2023) have been sanctioned to the borrowers under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY) since its inception.

With agency inputs.

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Published: 18 Dec 2023, 05:54 PM IST
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