Minister for Guwahati Development, Urban Development and Irrigation Department Ashok Singhal said that a sum amount of Rs 12,500 crore of microfinance loans are outstanding in Assam till March 31 this year.
The amount includes both principal and interest, the Cabinet minister said while addressing the press on Friday.
Notably, twenty-six lakh customers having 45 lakh bank accounts have taken loans from 40 lenders. Moreover, 53 per cent of the total outstanding amount of Rs 12,500 crore was lent by banks, followed by 22 cent by Non-Banking Finance Companies (NBFCs) and microfinance institutions, 26 per cent by small finance banks and 16 per cent by regular NBFCs.
According to the data shared by the minister, 19.10 lakh customers have borrowed from one lender, 5.08 lakh from two lenders, 1.54 lakh from three lenders and 60,000 from more than three lenders.
Further, the minister said that only those loans will be waived off which were taken before December 31, 2020.
He said those with a family income of Rs one lakh, paying income tax, owning four-wheelers or any other such guidelines set by the RBI will not be considered for the waiver of loans.
Mr. Singhal who is heading a committee to assess the financial situation for fulfilling the government’s commitment for waiving microfinance loans, was quoted as saying in an agency report, “The chief minister had directed us to prepare a package to provide relief to maximum poor women who had taken loans and are facing immense miseries,” Singhal said.
The norms of these loans were primarily that a woman cannot be a member of more than one Self Help Groups (SHGs) and not more than two NBFCs should lend to the same borrower.
The minister asserted that RBI regulations have been violated and action will be taken against the lenders who have breached the norms of the legal framework as most of the loan beneficiaries are not aware of the terms and conditions.