Assam Government rolls out microfinance loan waiver scheme for 24 lakh women

Assam Government rolls out microfinance loan waiver scheme for 24 lakh women

The Assam Cabinet had on 30 September approved Rs 1,800 crore to waive microfinance loans availed by poor women in the first phase.

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Assam Government Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on 28 November 2021 (Sunday) rolled out an ambitious microfinance loan waiver scheme, which is likely to benefit around 24 lakh women across the state. Sarma, at a function here, announced the beginning of the Assam Micro Finance Incentive and Relief Scheme 2021 (AMFIRS) and ceremonially handed over cheques to five beneficiaries from Sonitpur district.

Assam govt rolls out microfinance loan waiver Government scheme

The chief minister inaugurated the first phase of AMFIRS Microfinance Loan Waiver Scheme for those borrowers, who have been repaying their debt regularly. CM said “They will be provided with a one-time incentive up to Rs. 25,000 or the outstanding balance, whichever is less. This is an incentive for them to maintain good credit discipline. Altogether, 11 lakh women will benefit in this phase of the programme”.

Borrowers whose accounts have become NPA will be covered in the third phase. The government will consider providing partial or full relief based on evaluation, an official said.

On 29 November and 30 November 2021, beneficiaries of eight districts — Sonitpur, Charaideo, Sivasagar, Jorhat, Majuli, Golaghat, West Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao — are provided with their due incentives through account payee cheques. The Assam Cabinet had on 30 September 2021 approved Rs. 1,800 crore to waive microfinance loans availed by poor women in the first phase.

Phase 2

In the second stage, benefits of Assam Microfinance Loan Maaf Scheme will be extended to borrowers whose payments are overdue by less than 90 days and loan accounts are not classified as non-performing assets (NPA). The state government will pay the overdue amounts to borrowers in these cases. Borrowers whose accounts have become NPA will be covered in the third phase of Assam Micro Finance Incentive and Relief Scheme 2021. The government will consider providing partial or full relief based on evaluation.

The state government had on August 24 signed an agreement with 38 microfinance institutions and banks for a Rs 12,000-crore AMFIRS. While presenting the state budget for 2021-22, Assam Finance Minister Ajanta Neog had said almost 26 lakh borrowers took loans worth Rs 12,500 crore from various MFIs and the bulk of this portfolio is in rural areas.