By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, March 29: A paradigm shift in policy and approach is what Vijay Gupta wants to instill in the Assam Fincial Corporation (AFC) so as to make it thrive with a fresh vigour. Gupta took charge as AFC Chairman today.
Established as a joint State Fincial Corporation under Section 3(A) of the SFC’s Act 1951 way back in 1954 covering the erstwhile-undivided Assam with two union territories of Manipur and Tripura, AFC is a profit-making corporation that provides fincial assistance to Micro, Small and Medium scale industries in Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur and Tripura. It extends industrial assistance ranging from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 crore. In case of SC and ST entrepreneur there is a provision to extend loan amounting to Rs 2 lakh also.
Over the years AFC has been extending loans to a large number of industries, including big ones, with a very poor loan recovery rate. Soon after taking charge today, Gupta told newsmen: “As much as 37 per cent of the loan, amounting to crores of rupees, is still to be recovered. What’s surprising is that most of the loan defaulters are big fishes. My first job is to recover the bad loans.”
Gupta spelt out a paradigm shift in the Corporation’s policy of extending loans. “The existing rule is that micro, small and medium entrepreneurs have to come forward with their own proposals to get AFC’s fincial assistance. Now I want to reverse the policy. The Corporation, with the help of technical experts, will make proposals and then invite entrepreneurs for availing loans. The policy will be in sync with Startup India, Mudra Yojo and Make in India so as to make the system feasible,” Gupta said, and added: “AFC is one of the oldest Corporations in Assam. I thank the Chief Minister for giving me such an assignment. The Northeast has been lagging behind industrially. However, it is rich in resources, potential, raw materials and manpower. Striking the right chord among these four strengths in the Northeast will determine industrial development in the region. Assam alone has 26 lakh unemployed, and hence providing all of them job is not feasible. What’s possible is to make them earn their livelihood with the resources available with us. The base of Assam economy is rural economy. Without the development of rural areas, economic development in the State is not possible.”
Anil Das also took charge as AFC vice chairman at the same function that was attended, among others, by State Irrigation Minister Ranjit Dutta, MLA Siddhartha Bhattacharya, MLA Bhabesh Kalita, and a number of party leaders.