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Micro finance waiver will exclude income tax payees, among others: Ashok Singhal

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The Economic Times
11th June, 2021 19:51 IST

Chairman of micro finance waiver committee Ashok Singhal said waiver will exclude income tax payee, persons availing multiple loans, person having four wheeler and a person whose annual income is more than one lakh.

Talking to media persons on Friday, Singhal said, “The loan waiver will come with capping it will not be a blanket waiver. Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has promised loan waiver to poor women to provide relief to them. For waiver loan taken upto March 31, 2020 will be considered.”

The state’s committee on microfinance loan waiver, formed after Himanta Biswa Sarma sworn in as chief minister, is holding meetings with lenders.

Sarma on Thursday said that microloan debt waiver as announced by the BJP ahead of Assam polls will find reflection in the state in budget.

The BJP led government which came back to power for the second consecutive term will present its first budget in July.

Sarma said, “We have got a list of borrowers in the last meeting. They were reluctant to give the list. Work is progressing and the same will find reflection in the state budget to be presented in July.”

Singhal said, “We have got data from the lenders and are further mining the data."

According to the committee there are around 40 lakh lenders with 26 lakh customers base and 45 lakh bank accounts. Total loan exposure is to the tune of Rs 12500 Crore.

Less than Rs 25000 loans constitute 41 percent of the portfolio while loans from Rs 25,000 to Rs 50,000 account for 26 percent, Rs 50,000 to one lakh segment has 21 percent.

Singhal said, “Several people are facing miseries after taking out loans. RBI guidelines were violated and action will be taken on violators as per the RBI guidelines. We have intervened only when the rules were broken. A democratically elected government cannot ignore such violations.”

The size of the state’s microfinance sector is about Rs 10,900 crore, fallen from Rs 12,000 crore seen in 2019. About 32% of this loan remained overdue for more than 30 days. Going by this portfolio at risk ratio, the size of the debt waiver could be Rs 3,500 crore.

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