LAKHIMPUR: The women in Lakhimpur, who are borrowers of microfinance loans, have issued threat to intensify protest against the criteria for waiving micro-finance scheme loans set by the State government.
In this regard, Jagrita Nari Shakti Samiti, the common forum of the microfinance loan borrower women, convened a press meet at North Lakhimpur Press Club on Monday. Addressing the media persons, Manashi Rajkhowa, the secretary of the organization, and treasurer Biju Koch criticized the State Government and Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma in strong terms alleging them of betrayal in this issue.
Notably, the Assam Government recently set various terms and conditions to waive microfinance loans of 26 lakh female borrowers in the State. Waiving of micro-finance loans taken by women was one of the major promises of the ruling BJP during the Assembly election campaign this year, on account of which the women borrowers are keeping their fingers crossed that their loans will be waived off by the government.
Micro-finance Loans Criteria
According to the criteria, the cut-off year and date for microfinance loan waiving scheme will be December 31, 2021. The loans which have become Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) for the micro-finance institutes and banks before the same deadline will also not be considered for waiving. Moreover, those microfinance loans which are taken by women whose annual family income is more than Rs 1 lakh, or if the borrowers have four-wheelers, or if more than one member of a family has availed such loan, will also not be eligible for the proposed microfinance loans waiving scheme.
Opposing these criteria, Manashi Rajkhowa stated that these terms and conditions set by the State Government would undoubtedly help the microfinance companies and push the poor women to a pathetic condition and an uncertain future. In this connection, she alleged that the declaration of allotting Rs. 500 crore to waive the microfinance loans was nothing but a false assurance of the ruling party.
On the other hand, a section of microfinance loan borrowers of Lakhimpur on Monday staged a dharna in front of the Statefed office located at CD Road, opposing these criteria. Moreover, the organization submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister through the Deputy Commissioner demanding the scrapping of the criteria concerned regarding the issue.