Assam’s agreement to waive small loans soon, says Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma

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The deal will be finalized in two weeks, said Himanta Biswa Sarma (File)

Guwahati:

Assam will soon sign a memorandum of understanding with active microfinance institutions (MFIs) in the state, as previously pledged, to offset or forgo microfinance loans taken out by women from economically weak sections, the minister said in Chief Himanta Biswa Sarma.

The waiver of the loan – which was one of the poll pledges made by then-finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma ahead of this year’s national elections – will consist mainly of reliefs and incentives for nearly 22 lakhs of debtors so as not to harm their CIBIL scores, he said. .

The chief minister, while addressing the media in Guwahati, said: “We will sign a memorandum of understanding with companies dealing with microfinance on Saturday.”

In the state budget for the current fiscal year, Rs 7,500 crore has been allocated to the total outstanding amount of Rs 12,000 crore.

Cabinet Assam had recently approved the announced incentives for microfinance loan relief to debtors which were divided into three categories – those who regularly pay their installments, those who stopped paying after the waiver was announced and defaulters. .

“We have developed a mechanism whereby we will provide one-off assistance of Rs 20,000-25,000 to women making regular loan payments, one-time assistance to those who have recently stopped paying their payments, which will include amount of relief and pending payments, and we can forgo loans to those who want it, but they will no longer be able to take out loans in the future because their CIBIL score will be affected in the event of default ”, had Mr Sarma said.

According to our estimate, the state government will have to spend almost 5,000 to 6,000 crore rupees for assistance and relief under the loan exemption program, the chief minister said, adding: ” In two weeks, everything will be finalized “.

Microfinance Waiver Committee Chairman Ashok Singhal recently said the waiver would exclude taxpayers, people on multiple loans, owners of four-wheeled vehicles and those with annual income above Rs 1 lakh.

“There will be a cap on the loan waiver. It will not be a general waiver,” Singhal said.


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