LAKHIMPUR: Jagriti Nari Shakti Samiti, the common forum of the micro finance loan holder women of Lakhimpur and Dhemaji districts, has expressed vehement resentment against the State Government's alleged move initiated with regard to waiving only the interest of the micro finance loans, not the whole capital of the loan-takers.
In this regard, the organization convened a press meet at North Lakhimpur Press Club on Thursday adhering to the COVID-19 protocol. Addressing the media persons, Jagriti Nari Shakti Samiti president Rumi Phukan, secretary Manashi Rajkhowa, treasurer Biju Koch said that the victim women would never accept this move of the State Government, which had been taken 'as U-turn from the poll promise made by the Assam State Committee of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) before the Assam Legislative Assembly Election, 2021'.
"Present Chief Minister of Assam, Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, who was then Finance Minister of the BJP-led State Government, declared in each and every election campaign rally that the new State Government would waive the micro finance loans taken by the BPL (Below Poverty Line) women of the State, if the BJP could form the government. Then he repeatedly called upon the loan holder women not to pay the loans. As a result of it, those women abstained from paying their loan dues to the microfinance companies, establishing trust and faith upon the then Finance Minister. At present, the loan dues of those victim women, which have been pending since March of the last year due to the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown situation, have hiked to high amounts till day. Under such circumstances those poor woman are not capable to repay the loan at present. In such situation, the move initiated by the new State Government in this regard has pushed the women concerned to an uncertain future. They will have no alternative than welcoming euthanasia to get rid of the problem that they have been suffering from," secretary Manashi Rajkhowa stated while expressing resentment against the present Chief Minister.
She added that around 25,000 victim women covering Lakhimpur and Dhemaji districts would initiate extensive protest programmes against the Chief Minister in connection with the issue. The president and secretary of the organization, on behalf of the victim women, demanded the Chief Minister to take steps in favour of the women in this regard.
Notably, over 500 women, on April 1 staged massive protest in Lakhimpur district against the alleged harassment caused by a section of microfinance companies with regard to recovering their loans from the indebted women of the rural areas. On the other hand, in the first cabinet meeting of the new State Government, held with Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma in the chair, a committee led by UDD (Urban Development Department) Minister Ashok Singhal was formed to study all pros and cons on the waiver of microfinance loans as to who should get the benefit and what way was to be taken for the move.