Guwahati, September 23 (IANS): Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Saturday said at least 2.2 lakhs borrowers who could not repay their loan will get relief under the state government’s initiative.
The state government had organised an event to waive-off loans of women borrowers of state from different microfinance companies.
The Chief Minister said that his government has fulfilled an ambitious election promise made two years ago during the assembly polls in Assam.
“A section of the media also claimed that we have backtracked on our earlier poll promises. I want to make it clear that we have been fulfilling all our promises. Those loans which had become non-performing as on March 31, 2021 will get reliefs,” Sarma said.
A ceremonial distribution of relief under the Assam Microfinance Incentive & Relief Scheme was organised by the state administration in Dispur. Borrowers whose accounts had turned non-performing asset (NPA) as on March 31, 2021 and having outstanding principal amount upto Rs. 25,000 are deemed to be eligible for benefits in this category.
An official statement mentioned that the state government is shelling out a total of Rs 291 crore as compensation to the lenders (microfinance institutions) and this move is expected to benefit a total of around 2.2 lakh borrowers from across the State.
In return, the concerned microfinance institutions shall issue "no due certificate" to the borrowers, thus making the latter credit-worthy again under the formal financial system.
Claiming the Assam Microfinance Incentive & Relief Scheme as a first of its kind in the country, Sarma said its main objective was to provide relief to eligible borrowers who had availed small loans from microfinance institutions and the formal banking system but owing to certain circumstances, they couldn't repay the borrowed amount in full.
The Chief Minister said the primary reasons behind the default in loan repayment can be said to be the Covid-19 pandemic scenario and the anti-CAA movement.
“Now that the pandemic period and days of strife have been left behind, it is important that a healthy credit habit is built up in the State,” he added.
The event was also attended by Ministers of Assam Cabinet Ajanta Neog, Jayanta Mallabaruah, Chandramohan Patowary, along with a host of senior officials and representatives of microfinance institutions.