Guwahati, June 12 (PTI) Opposition parties on Saturday attacked the Assam government for its “turnaround” in dispensing with microfinance loans, as promised before the assembly elections, and accused the BJP of “cheating” people.
The Congress, All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), Raijor Dal (RD) and Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP) have said that the suggestions made by a government-appointed committee amount to a “betrayal” of people’s trust.
Irrigation Minister Ashok Singhal, who heads the panel, said on Friday that he suggested that the loan amount will not be waived if tapped after December 31, 2020 or if it is turned into NPA, household income exceeds Rs 1 lakh, any member pays income tax and owns a car.
Opposition leader Debabrat Saikia demanded that the state government remove all preconditions and renounce loans to provide relief to poor women, as part of the BJP’s vote guarantee.
“By including different conditions, the government doesn’t really want to help women. They promised to renounce advances during the election campaign just to garner votes and now they have turned around,” he said.
The organizational general secretary of the AIUDF, Aminul Islam, said that the points mentioned by Singhal only serve to mislead “the common people.
“The BJP is indulging in cheap politics in the name of giving relief to microfinance loans. Thousands of women were waiting for the resignation, but what the party did to them is nothing more than a research trick,” she added.
DR President Bhasco De Saikia said turning back on his promises is a “habit” of the BJP.
“The BJP must stop betraying people by giving false hope and have the courage to keep its promises,” said Saikia.
After Singhal stated the preconditions in the report to be submitted to Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, women members of self-help groups (SHGs) criticized the state government, demanding the complete waiver of their loans.
A total microfinance loan amount of Rs 12,500 crore, comprising principal and interest, and availed by 26 lakh clients, mostly women, out of 40 lenders is due as of March 31, Singhal told reporters.
AJP President Lurinjyoti Gogoi said Sarma had promised that all microfinance loans, regardless of amount, would be waived, which generated strong support for the Saffron Party ahead of the elections.
“We demand that the government fulfill its promise without any discrimination,” he added. PTI TR RBT RBT
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