Assam Environment and Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya on Thursday rolled out cheques in Assam's Hojai district as financial support to women borrowers who took loans from microfinance institutions under Category 1 of Assam Micro Finance Incentive and Relief Scheme 2021 (AMFIRS).
The event was organised by the Hojai district administration at Kachari Maidan in Sankardev Nagar. MLAs of Hojai, Jamunamukh, President of Hojai Zilla Parishad, representatives of political parties, banks and microfinance institutions also attended it.
A total of 17,712 women beneficiaries from Hojai have been covered under Category I of the scheme.
Last year, Chief Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma rolled out the ambitious microfinance loan waiver scheme, which was a major poll promise.
Under Category I of AMFIRS, a total of 11 lakh women will be benefitted across the state.
"The Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma-led Assam government signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) to implement the AMFIRS, 2021,” Parimal Suklabaidya said.
"Altogether 38 MFIs and banks signed the MoU with the state government, which will provide huge relief to 24 lakh women borrowers. The scheme was devised with an objective to balance the long-term view of ensuring continuity of microfinance for supporting economic activities of low income and poor households and providing relief to eligible customers for tiding over current stress in the microfinance sector due to various operational reasons," he added.
Suklabaidya further said that the scheme emphasises promoting responsible borrowing and timely repayment culture among customers.
The state government has divided the loanees into three categories. Under Category I, borrowers who have been repaying regularly with 'Zero Days Past Due' will be provided with a one-time incentive to the extent of their outstanding balance, subject to a cap of Rs 25,000.
Similarly, borrowers whose payments are overdue, that is the accounts that are overdue but not NPA, the state government will pay the overdue amount. All such borrowers will be encouraged to make timely installment payments so that their accounts remain standard and credit culture is reinforced.