Assam govt to roll out microfinance relief scheme, distribute cheques among borrowers

To start with, the Himanta Biswa Sarma-led government is scheduled to roll out the special one-time relief in a three-day event commencing on November 28.

This will be the first phase of the cheque distribution programme. After the special relief was announced on June 18, the government signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with microfinance lenders for the implementation of the scheme in August.
This will be the first phase of the cheque distribution programme. After the special relief was announced on June 18, the government signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with microfinance lenders for the implementation of the scheme in August.

The Assam government will begin distributing cheques to the segment of the state’s microfinance customers, who were regular in loan repayments, from Sunday to provide them incentives under the mega microfinance relief scheme announced earlier this year. Over 10 lakh borrowers fall under this segment and the governments’ spending on incentivising them would be around Rs 2000 crore.

To start with, the Himanta Biswa Sarma-led government is scheduled to roll out the special one-time relief in a three-day event commencing on November 28. This will be the first phase of the cheque distribution programme. After the special relief was announced on June 18, the government signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with microfinance lenders for the implementation of the scheme in August.

“From November 28, the government will start distributing cheques to the Category 1 customers, who were regular in repayments without any dues as of March 31, 2021. Each customer will receive a sum of Rs 25000 or outstanding whichever is lower as an incentive to them to continue maintaining good credit discipline. Over 10 lakh customers will get this benefit, and roughly Rs 2000 crore is what the government’s payout for this category,” Manoj Nambiar, MD, Arohan Financial Services, told FE. As per the broad contours of the special relief, the government will also pay the overdue of delinquent customers to make them regular and clear the loan outstanding for really stressed customers impacted by the pandemic. Speaking on the MoU signing occasion in Guwahati in August, Sarma had said the scheme, Assam Micro Finance Incentive and Relief Scheme (AMFIRS), 2021, would involve Rs 12,000 crore credit portfolio, out of which the state government would be required to expend around Rs 7200 crore. “The customers, who were regular in repayments, are being singled out first so that the incentive and the rewards go first rather than relief for the delinquent customers. These customers have been regular and they have kept the name of the state high by their behaviour. That is why the chief minister and the government are prioritising them initially,” Nambiar, who is a part of the lenders’ steering committee, pointed out.

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