A total of Rs 12,500 crore of microfinance loans, comprising both principal and interest, are outstanding in Assam until March 31, Minister Ashok Singhal said on Friday.
Twenty-six lakh clients with 45 lakh bank accounts have taken out loans from 40 lenders, Singhal said at a press conference here.
Singhal said 53% of the outstanding Rs 12,500 crore was loaned by banks, 22% by non-bank financial corporations (NBFC) and microfinance institutions, 26% by small financial banks and 16% by regular NBFCs.
The Minister of Irrigation and Urban Development heads a committee formed to assess the financial situation to keep the BJP’s election promise to forgo microfinance loans.
Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had decided to set up the panel during the first cabinet meeting on May 11 with Singhal as chairman and senior secretaries of finance and panchayat and rural development departments as members.
“The chief minister asked us to prepare a package to come to the aid of the poorest women who had taken out loans and who are facing immense miseries,” Singhal said.
The committee organized three rounds of meetings with stakeholders including banks, NBFCs, small cooperatives, microfinance institutions and RBI.
We had requested the data they provided, but realized that more data mining was needed and that it will soon be provided by stakeholders. Discussions will continue and we hope to resolve the issue as soon as possible, ” he said.
Certain criteria must be followed according to RBI guidelines when granting loans to borrowers, but it is certain that the standards have been flouted, which has created problems for poor female borrowers, he said. .
The basic standards to follow are that a woman cannot be a member of more than one self-help group (SHG) and no more than two NBFCs should lend to the same borrower.
According to the data made available, 19.10 lakhs of clients borrowed from one lender, 5.08 lakhs from two lenders, 1.54 lakhs from three lenders and 60,000 from more than three lenders.
The minister said action will be taken against lenders who have flouted the norms of the legal framework, as most of the women who have taken out loans are uneducated and do not know the terms and conditions.
He said that discussions were underway on the relief provisions and that only loans taken out before December 31, 2020 will be taken into account.
He said people with a family income of Rs a lakh, paying income taxes, owning four-wheeled vehicles or any other RBI directive would not be considered for loan forgiveness.
(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)