Assam inks pact to waive loans of 1.4 m women borrowers to fulfil poll promise
As promised in its assembly poll manifesto, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government in Assam inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with 38 microfinance institutions and banks on Tuesday to waive off loans taken by poor women in the state.
Signing of the MoU will lead to implementation of the Assam Micro Finance Incentive and Relief Scheme, 2021, prepared earlier by the government and benefit nearly 1.4 million borrowers.
Speaking on the occasion, chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the scheme will have a ₹12,000 crore credit portfolio, including about ₹7,200 crore to be spent by the government.
“The relief scheme will ensure continuity of micro-finance for supporting economic activities of poor households and help eligible customers in overcoming stress in the microfinance sector due to various operational reasons” he said.
Sarma said the scheme emphasises responsible lending by financial institutions in compliance with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and industry regulations in letter and spirit, while promoting responsible borrowing and timely repayment culture.
CM said all eligible borrowers can take loans up to ₹1.25 lakhs from up to 3 lenders under the scheme and those with a track record of regular loan repayment will be provided a one-time incentive to the extent of their outstanding balance, capped at ₹25,000.
Similarly, borrowers whose repayments to the banks are overdue but do not fall in the category of non-performing assets (NPA), the state government will pay the overdue amount.
Further, borrowers whose accounts have become NPAs will need to apply through a format verified and certified by the lender. Government will then consider providing partial relief or full relief based on detailed evaluation, the scheme proposes.