Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi slammed Assam Chief Minister Himanata Biswa Sarma today over the microfinance loan waiver controversy. According to the MP, the Sarma administration has been promoting the interests of corporates while disregarding the poor and vulnerable section of society.
Gogoi stated that during the previous Assam assembly election campaign, incumbent Chief Minister Sarma, when he was the State Health and Finance Minister, offered 100% waiver to micro-finance loanee women. He stated that Sarma should not commit such a treachery act.
Gogoi further said that the BJP-led state government is too preoccupied with servicing corporate interests amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to help the poor and needy people who are trying to make ends meet. He also stated that many people had lost their jobs as a result of the lockdown and requested the government to assist them.
Earlier. the Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma stated that any women who had taken out loans from microfinance institutions would be ineligible for the state government's waiver scheme. According to the Chief Minister, only the genuine impoverished women among the loanees would be eligible for the government's relief.
In addition, the Chief Minister stated that the government will provide incentives as a reward to women who have been repaying their debts. According to Sarma, no microfinance organisation could grant a loan of more than Rs. 1 lakh 25 thousand to a single borrower. However, he claims that in Assam, some such institutions have extended loans of up to Rs.2 lakh to a number of single borrowers, thereby exceeding the limit.
"We will only waive off the loan of actual poor women. Others should not expect the benefit. A woman from a well-to-do family will not get the waiver. Those, who are the owners of luxurious cars, also would not get the loan waiver. If such a woman borrower's husband is a government employee, then she will also not receive the opportunity. Our goal is to uplift the economic condition of the actual poor," stated the Assam CM.
It should be noted that since Guwahati minister Ashok Singhal disclosed the micro-finance loan waiver policy created by a committee chaired by him, a large number of women who have taken loans from micro-finance organisations have been protesting against the state government.