Assam government is going to launch next phase of Assam Micro Finance Incentive and Relief Scheme or AMFIRS Microfinance Loan Waiver Scheme for women soon. In this scheme, the state govt. will provide financial assistance to debt ridden women borrowers whose bank accounts have become NPA. With this aid, such women borrowers shall be able to get access credit again from formal sources. In this article, we will tell you about the complete details of AMFIRS scheme including budgetary allocation.
CM Himanta Biswa Sarma had earlier launched Assam Microfinance Loan Maaf Yojana 2nd phase on 2 January 2022. In the AMFIRS scheme first phase, benefit was given to those borrowers who were repaying their debt regularly. In the AMFIRS 2nd phase, benefit was given to borrowers whose payments are overdue by less than 90 days and loan accounts were not classified as non-performing assets (NPA). However in the AMFIRS scheme 3rd phase, benefit will be given to those debt ridden women borrowers whose bank accounts have become NPA.
About Assam Micro Finance Incentive and Relief Scheme (AMFIRS) 3rd Phase
Finance Minister presented Assam Budget 2023-24 on 16 March 2023. While delivering the Assam Budget Speech, FM has announced to launch a new Assam Micro Finance Incentive and Relief Scheme (AMFIRS). FM said “Speaker Sir, the present Government under the able leadership
of Hon’ble Chief Minister, Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma Dangoriya, formulated the Assam Microfinance Incentive and Relief Scheme (AFMIRS), 2021. It gives me immense pleasure to apprise this House that fulfilling our promise, under Category I and II of the Scheme, around 10 lakh borrowers have been provided assistance worth Rs. 1,789 cr. This has also helped them in improving their creditworthiness”.
FM also said “Sir, in this budget we want to support the stressed and destitute women borrowers, whose accounts have become Non Performing Assets, as on 31st March 2021. Our Government will prioritize this year, those who have borrowed up to Rs. 25,000 only. This will benefit lakhs of debt ridden women borrowers who will be able to access credit again from formal sources”.
Eventually, the borrowers under the loan bracket from Rs 25,000 upwards will be extended the benefits, depending upon the resource position of the State. I am earmarking a sum of Rs. 500 Cr accordingly for this initiative.
Short Brief on AMFIRS Scheme
|Name of Scheme||Assam Micro Finance Incentive and Relief Scheme|
|Date of Announcement for Launch of AMFIRS Next Phase||16 March 2023|
|Beneficiaries||Debt ridden women borrowers whose bank account have become NPA|
|Objective||To provide access credit to women borrowers from formal sources|
|Who Announced AMFIRS Scheme||Finance Minister, while presenting Assam Budget 2023-24|
New Portal for Women Beneficiaries
CM also informed that a new portal will be opened from next month where those women beneficiaries who have not been able to repay their microfinance loans at all, would be able to register themselves and the state government will help them repay their loans.
Assam Micro Finance Incentive and Relief Scheme (AMFIRS) 2nd Phase
CM started 2nd phase of Assam Micro Finance Incentive and Relief Scheme (AMFIRS) on 2 Jan 2022. He ceremonially handed over cheques to 5,024 beneficiaries in Gohpur, Behali, Sootea and Biswanath at a programme held in Biswanath Chariali. CM mentioned that “We are able to fulfil our election promise of microfinance loan relief within months from returning to power and the state government will continue to march forward with the same zeal in the future as well.”
Assam Microfinance Loan Maaf Phase 2 Benefits
The Assam Microfinance Loan Maaf Scheme benefited 24 lakh women in the state. All the beneficiaries of AMFIRS Microfinance Loan Waiver Scheme received a one-time incentive amounting from Rs. 16,000 to Rs. 25,000 each. Under Phase II of Assam Micro Finance Institutions Relief Scheme, a total of 12,590 had received their cheques in Biswanath district.
AMFIRS Microfinance Loan Waiver Scheme Phase 1 Launch
The chief minister inaugurated the first phase of AMFIRS Microfinance Loan Waiver Scheme for those borrowers, who have been repaying their debt regularly. CM said “They will be provided with a one-time incentive up to Rs. 25,000 or the outstanding balance, whichever is less. This is an incentive for them to maintain good credit discipline. Altogether, 11 lakh women will benefit in this phase of the programme”.
On 29 November and 30 November 2021, beneficiaries of eight districts — Sonitpur, Charaideo, Sivasagar, Jorhat, Majuli, Golaghat, West Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao — are provided with their due incentives through account payee cheques. The Assam Cabinet had on 30 September 2021 approved Rs. 1,800 crore to waive microfinance loans availed by poor women in the first phase.
Assam Microfinance Loan Maaf Scheme Stage 2
In the second stage, benefits of Assam Microfinance Loan Maaf Scheme were extended to borrowers whose payments are overdue by less than 90 days and loan accounts were not classified as non-performing assets (NPA). The state government paid the overdue amounts to borrowers in these cases. Borrowers whose accounts have become NPA will now be covered in the third phase of Assam Micro Finance Incentive and Relief Scheme. The government will consider providing partial or full relief based on evaluation.
Pre Election Promise for Assam Microfinance Loan Waiver Scheme
During the assembly election campaign in March-April 2021, CM Himanta Biswa Sarma had said all the microfinance loans of women would be waived if the BJP-led coalition returned to power, but after assuming the office he said it was a “political statement, but not a government promise”. The opposition parties had attacked the government for its “U-turn” in waiving the loans as promised by the BJP and said the saffron party has “cheated” the people.
The state government had on August 24 signed an agreement with 38 microfinance institutions and banks for a Rs 12,000-crore AMFIRS. While presenting the state budget for 2021-22, Assam Finance Minister Ajanta Neog had said almost 26 lakh borrowers took loans worth Rs 12,500 crore from various MFIs and the bulk of this portfolio is in rural areas.
Source / Reference Link: https://finance.assam.gov.in/portlets/assam-budget-2023-2024