Guwahati: At a time when the opposition parties like Congress and Raijor Dal alleged that BJP led government is making a U-turn on the microfinance loan waiver scheme, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma claimed that the statements made by him during the election campaigns regarding waiving micro-finance were just political statements, not Government’s statements.
CM Sarma strongly claimed that in every election campaign, he had clearly stated that only the underprivileged women would be eligible for the microfinance loans waiver not the rich.
Addressing the meeting here in Guwahati on Friday, CM Sarma said, “So whatever we do we have to do for the poor and helpless lot and that should be our sole target.”
He also stated that different criteria to waive microfinance (MF) loans to the tune of more than Rs 12,500 crore have been set by the Government of Assam. However, after looking at the criteria and discussions, the total liability has come down to Rs 8,250 crore.
“There had been some violations of RBI guidelines by some MFI companies, where they have provided loans more than Rs 1.25 lakhs, thus, those extra amounts will have to be relieved by the companies, not by the government,” added CM Sarma.
CM Sarma also mentioned that if the Government keeps on waiving loans of each and every woman in the state, then the civil score of that woman (for loans) will go down and they won’t be able to avail other government schemes in the future.
Thus, CM Sarma appealed to the women who are being able to return MF loans to continue the process and the government of Assam will assure them with a grant amount by which they can maintain their civil score.
The government of Assam has also strengthened the Assam Microfinance Institutions (Regulation of Moneylending) Bill, 2020 by which beneficiaries cannot avail more than three MFI loans, loan amount should not exceed Rs 1.25 lakh, below poverty line (BPL) women cannot avail the facility of loans and No agents can visit the home of the beneficiaries, informed CM Sarma further.