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Microfinance Companies In India Are Not At All A Blessings It Is Rather A Big Curse, It Should Be Stopped Immediately By Law

Microfinance, involving extension of small loans and other financial services to low socio income groups, could be a very important economic conduit designed to facilitate financial inclusion and assist the poor to work their way out of poverty. It might have the potential to fill the critical gap left by formal financial institutions, like banks, in providing financial services to low income groups.

Mainstream banks, government post office institutions shied away from providing financial services towards the poors, considering them unviable owing to high costs involved in reaching out to the unbanked/under banked areas of Indian villages and suburbs, where there is not enough scale of operations due to low numbers and low value of transactions of money. Other reasons for such exclusion are perceived high risk and inability of poor unemployed borrowers to provide physical collateral bonds for raising loans in their needs.

But it is now being argued and well established facts that microfinances companies( Mafia) and non banking financial companies ( NBFCs) operating in India did not ever facilitated the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as well as national policies that targeted poverty reductions, empowerment of women, assisting vulnerable groups, and improving standards of living or did not at all achieve sustainable alleviation of poverty with microfinance loans or NBFC loans by generating income, creating any jobs, allowing children to go to school, (education loan from MFIs) or enabling families to obtain health care, and empowering people to make the choices that best serve their needs".

Rather these MFIs and NBFCs became a big curse ( a big wolf) for most of low socio-economic class Poor's borrowers of microcredit loans due to its high percentage of unlawful and usurious interest charge on loan amounts and putting the entire family in depth of debted ness, majority of MFIs or NBFIs are not for registering them under RBI registered companies to carry on money lending buisness in the open markets following all rules and regulations of RBI in regards of interests rate of their loan ( it must not be more than 15%yearly as per RBI guidelines ).

in regard of process of recovery of loans by their recovery agents( RA) following RBI guidelines 2022 and for putting the defaulter borrower in mental stress and depression and promoting them for over works, may be prompting borrowers towards being absconded from home address or prompting the borrower to suicide and thus destroying a family and borrower's next generation completely.

The state or country must act on this issue and to stop functioning or abandon all these microfinance companies ( who are not registered under RBI and in possession of RBI licence ) and all non banking financial companies by making necessary laws and punish their owners / CEOs/ officers / RA exemplary life time imprisonment punishment for doing all illegal money lending business for their own profits in terms of few thousands cores of Indian rupees and putting the borrowers in money indebtedness, putting for being absconded from his/ her home address and suicide or attempt to suicide and destroying a family

Microfinance is a category of financial services targeting individuals and small businesses (for their own profit is their basic targets) who lack access to conventional banking systems or post office and related services. Microfinance includes microcredits, provision of small loans to poor clients (through "gosthi " or a group of people); savings and checking accounts; microinsurance; and payment systems, among other services. Microfinance services were designed to reach excluded customers, usually poorer population segments of a society, possibly socially marginalised, or geographically more isolated, and to help them become self-sufficient.

Proponents of microfinance company owners often claim that such access helps poor people out of poverty, including participants in the Microcredit Summit Campaign. For many bankers, microfinance is a way to promote economic development, employment and growth through the support of micro-entrepreneurs and small businesses; for others, it is a way for the poor to manage their finances more effectively and take advantage of economic opportunities while managing the risks. Critics of microfinance companies and NBFCs often point towards many of the ills of micro-credit that can create indebtedness to borrowers of loan. Many studies have tried to assess its impacts on microcredits.

One of many principal challenges of Mafia and NBF companies is providing small loans at an affordable cost or at Nationalised Bank's interest rate as per Reserve Bank of India's guidelines for interest to be charged on a yearly basis not more than 15% ever. The Indian average interest rate of micro loans and fee rate is estimated at 37%, with rates may high as 70% to 120% interest in many markets, that the laws of the country do not permit at all.

The reason for the high interest rates was never clarified or justified to clients or authorities except that their own profit form their money lending business. Indeed, the local microfinance organisations or non financial banking organisation that receive zero-interest loan capital from the online microlending platform or from National banking system also charge average interest and fee rates of 35.21% Rather, the main reason for the high cost of microfinance loans is the high transaction cost of traditional microfinance operations relative to loan size.

MICROFINANCE was once meant to lift people (basically women) to bring out of poverty, but many women ultimately saying today, it's become rather a big curse for their life, a Wolf for many Indian citizens, specially for poor, economically weaker sections citizens,( illiterate, semi illiterate people, jobless people, small/ smallest scale business enterprises people,marginal firmers, marginal people, small grocery shopkeepers and for startup small business people, street hawkers, daily wage labourers, small traders ) and these people must be much more cautious about ills' effects of accepting / taking any microfinance company/ NBFC loans (personally or and on groupi basis ) any usurious private loans from various Financial NGOs, companies.

Non Banking Financial corporation ( NBFC) / organisation/ any usurious private loan providers companies (may be these companies registered under company act 1956 or on section 8 of 2013 company acts ) who don't possess proper Reserve Bank of India's ( RBI) permission papers for doing money lending business in any state of India including in West Bengal as like "Bandhan Bank" in West Bengal,"Ashirbad Microfinance Ltd, "Nigam Sudha Microfinance Ltd ","Progoti Microfinance company Ltd," " Lokenath Trusts", "Dishari', "Swayam Krishi Sanstha","Janalakshmi Financial Services", "Ujjivan", "Adani Financial Services", "Small Finance Bank", "Utkarsh Small Finance Bank", "Arohan Financial Services", "Fusion Microfinance", "Equitas", "Small Finance Bank", "Grameen Koota Financial Services", "UGRO Financial Services".

"ASA international India microfinance Ltd ", "Sarala","Mohor, "SKS Microfinance Ltd", "Village", "Share Microfinance" "Annapurna Finance"," SKS microfinance, Utkarsha small finance Bank ' poonawalla fin corp,etc to name a few ( there are about 96 or more big Microfinance institutions operating in India and 35,473 NBFC companies in India with or without RBI permission to carry on money lenders business as up to 2013 records and 46 MFI companies working in the state of West Bengal ) and many such MFI / NBFC are operating presently in the West Bengal State of India and in other provinces of India too. Microfinance institutions or MFI must be set up with minimum Rs 5 cores capital ( to be deposited with RBI) and they can lend money when one borrower's household annual income is maximum from Rs 1,20,000 to Rs 300,000 INR and maximum limit of such loans must be 50% of monthly household income once,as per Reserve Bank of India guideline 1st April 2022 ( memo no DoR.FIN.REC.95/03.10.038/2021-22 dated 14.03.2022) and interest rate must not be more than 15 to 20% per year ( ie if a borrower take Rs 20,000/ as loan, he or she will pay monthly Rs 970/ in 24 instalments including both Principal amount and interest amount loan as per annexure II of para 6.3 of RBI guidelines order dated 14.03.2022, mentioned above ) and they must have licence from RBI as permission to operate as non Banking money lenders. MFI or microlenders may take loans from Nationalised Bank and they pay 12% maximum interest for their loan per year. Those money lenders, either MFI or NBFI companies or usurious private money lenders are illegal by Indian laws ( without RBI permission or registration and not following RBI guidelines) and to be informed to local police by General Diary or by FIR if operating in a local area of town sub urban or in Village, by villagers or by person who takes such illegal loan from them.

Since 2017 onwards,Microfinance companies without RBI licence are mushrooming in West Bengal state (in urban areas, semi urbans,in rural villages), putting poor and marginal people in life long distress and trouble, damage, irreparable loss to family providing them loan ( say for 60,000/INR a time ) but with huge illegal percentage interests on weekly or monthly basis ( interest rate of MFI/ NBFC microlenders varies from 30% to 200% yearly,or weekly or monthly instead of yearly and that the Indian laws does not ever permitted such illegal money lending to any borrowers with that very high interest charge beyond RBI guided interest level ( less than 20% yearly interest maximum for registered MFIs ) for microfinance company ( on yearly basis but never on weekly or monthly basis ).

Maximum Microfinance companies have thus today mutated ''to become rather big exploiters of man and woman in society to make their cores and cores of money as their profit, exploiting needy poor of the poor by their usurious interest rates, providing multiple loans through gosthi ( collection of poor women or men in a group ) given to a borrower without due diligence, lack of transparency, RBI regulation and use of coercive methods for recovery by threats, creating nuisance in front of house doors, or filing court suits as a frauds or a defaulter or not following their company conditions of loan repayment".

( as per RBI rules 2022, all Recovery Agents ( RA) must fullfill the laid down criteria stated in clause 7.5.1 to 7.5.5 along with local police verification identity and permission for recovery of loan from borrowers and other wise thet can not be appointed as feild workers or RA). They often get signed borrowers with their husband in white paper as their company documents and a notebook of taking and paying loan, kept with them( but never with borrowers). Thus a borrower never knows how much of the principal loan and how much of principal and interest they cleared of their taken loan and they are in loan debt trapped.

In my opinion,and in many civilised conscious people opinions, these all microfinance companies are in fact a big curse toward poor socioeconomic class people who are/ were however in need of cash money to run or to help their family' for emergency medical treatment, to run a small business, from where they earned their previous livelihood,and they took loan under toughest situation, they faced during COVID -19 periods of state/ pan India lockdown,they were bound of taking loan with very high percentage of weekly interest personally or through forming groups called gosthi of 25/ 40 illiterate or semi illiterate married women and poor men or to those and these company's salaried field agents or RA completely misguided these needy people or their less educated/ less intelligent wives, children (whose house men lost their service and or faced loss in their small business or in cultivation during the covid pandemic period of 2019 November to 2022 December or experienced loss in the business and cultivation) about the false benefit or ills of microfinance or gosthi loans. These microfinance companies thus making lured to these people of urban, suburban, villages people of West Bengal/ India to take easy loan with very high unusual interest rate (>25% to 35% yearly and 120% to 200% monthly interest rate by usurious money lenders (reference no- 5).

And when covid -19 is now almost over in 2023, all market opened,these microfinance companies salaried people/ Recovery agents/ Dalal kicking doors giving huge pressure, threatens to persons/ family members who took loan ( borrowers) from their companies by himself/ or by herself name ( later bounded to draw loans in names of others members ie within gosthi peoples) and then from outside loan providers and as a result it became vicious cycle for them to take continuous loans after loans from neighbours and these people are moving around paying interests of such loans only but never the principal amount of loan they borrowed. Ultimately they are selling all their minor assets including wedding gold, even utensils and facing domestic violences etc.

" �I had to sell off my wedding ornaments, my 20 years old unmarried daughter's gold ornaments, keeping on taking loans after loan to pay only interest part from one to another private money lenders to clear up my MFI loan interest- Mrs Sapna Bhattacharya -wife of Mr Ritwick Bhattacharya - a married 48 years semi litterate women,- mother of a 20 years old daughter, a woman borrower of residence- Purbapalli Village, Post office- Sodepur, District -24 Parganas (north ),PS -Khardha,Kolkata -110, says me over telephone with a sad smile and next bursting into her tears. " �.I had to take microfinance loan ( RS 60,000/INR) from "Bandhan Bank" first, then from Ashirwad Microfinance Ltd, first time in 2019 Oct with only knowledge of my husband Ritwik, but others members of my in laws family were in total darkness, after being members of a ( 22 married women group) gosthi of our locality "Bankimpally " at, Sodepur,under Panihati municipality constituency,being lured for easy to get loans and being highly convinced by field agent's of Bandhan Bank and Ashirwad Microfinance Ltd operating in sodepur and khardah, panihati and by gosthi members, to feed and for medical treatment purpose of my 84 years old mother ( Mrs Shanti Adhikari,wife of late Anil Adhikari, who is living alone in one room small flat at Ghola, sodepur ) and to support and look after my two younger sister's (Savita Chakraborty wife of krishnendu chakrabarty & Bandana Dey wife of late Raju Dey ) family, during lock down periods of COVID-19 ( 2019 -22).

And to meet up MFI company's interest, i had to borrow loan successively from Mr. Tapan Saha of Loknath Trust,Mr. Chandan Saha of Nigam Sudha Microfinance Trust, Unity Welfare Society, Progoti, Beraberi Deshari, jiban Utthan Microfinance Ltd operating ( I didn't knew that these MFI / NBFC companies / usurious money lenders are illegal money lenders companies by Indian laws without RBI permission to operate in field ) operating in Sodepur, 24 Parganas ( north),Kolkata-110, West Bengal. I am now a debt trapped woman of around Rs 14 lakh INR. My husband Ritwik Bhattacharya of same address with a B.Com ( Calcutta University) degree,50 years old ( he suffered in 1999 to 2005 from bipolar psychiatric illnesses- schizoid bipolar mood disorders and was treated at Institute of Psychiatry at SSKM hospital Kolkata -20, with antipsychotics drugs lithium,risperidone, valproate, SSRI drugs by his eldest MD doctor brother ) also was trapped and did loan from others non financial banking companies/ organisation when in 2020-2021 his small trade a start up business units ( within our home premises as his rehabilitation program -once set by his eldest doctor brother for him to sustain our life and to get him engaged in working) run in losses during the COVID -19 pan and partial lockdown period in 2020 March to 2022 October and he had to pay salaries and bonus to his four marginal labours in lock down times and compensation money settlement to a labour for loss of part of his index finger in a sudden machine accident, etc, though he could not sell his finished products in local markets for covid 19 lockdown and his loan status to these NBFC companies now reached to another Rs 10 lakh ( as he stopped EMI since 2020 and now he has been summoned by court of laws for a settlement on 20th March, 2023 by company he borrowed loan ).

We both are now in great financial trouble for MFI and NBFC loans as their recovery agents and recovery field workers are almost daily knocking the door and we became ill doing overworking both day and night times since October 2022 to repay the loan. What I realised now that we did a great blunder in our life,trusting the field agents of Bandhan Bank and Ashirbad microfinance ltd trusting that Microfinance loans are helping for empowerment of poor women and their families. Rather it is a big curse for many poor families. I had to sell our kitchen utensils, all machines Ritwick once purchased for his business and sometimes I had to deny our food for days, unless we had some kind of monthly financial support of Rs 23,000/ per month from my husband's eldest brother-, a MD Pathology doctor by his profession ( now a WB state govt. pension holder ) to feed us by sending his bank interest part of money ( he had as his superannuation benefits in march 2021), to sustain our life, so that we can make these loan repayments �.".

And I had to steal every month, average rupees 8000, even from his sent money too, to pay up interest to my personal private money lenders through my sister's, without knowledge of any one in my in-laws house. A great sin i had to do to meet up loan interest

There are many such stories ( at least 54 studied cases by this author) with me in Kolkata, Howrah, Coach Bihar,Nadia, North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas, Murshidabad ( ref no 12), Nadia, Jalpaiguri districts of West Bengal state.

Microfinance was once meant to lift up people out of poverty, but the women of Howrah, ( in Shibpur Constituency ( ref no 3),in Panihati constituency, in Beldanga Village of East Burdwan ( reference no - 10) say it's become now a big curse for many families even of entire village, who are in microfinance or NBFC debt Trap

This city, West Bengal, has been overrun by loan agents/ field workers from India's illegal Microfinance or NBFC industries. In the real world,instead of women getting empowered MFI are causing them in life trouble from microfinance companies, because there is no system of finding out whether beneficiaries have also taken loans from other MIF institutes or private usurious loans to clear up their loans. So the borrower goes on taking loans after loans from one institute to others or from personal/ private illegal usurious money lenders with very high interest. They are bound to do that.

Then they are falling into severe debt traps of 15 to 20 lakhs for say only 1.2 lakh / INR loan from a microfinance company from Ashirbad or Bandhan Bank. This author have personally seen some people changing their addresses overnight, absconded, attempting suicide by various means, selling their all properties to get rid of these debts.He saw microfinance loans are root cause of domestic violence between husband and wife also.

The microfinance companies give loans mostly to married women. Most of the married women must be at loggerheads with their husbands to repay the loans. This gives rise to domestic violences and injury, even head injuries.

From the study at grass-root level, this author personally felt that very few people had actually benefited from this initiative of microfinance loan in the Indian context. It is rather few trillion dollar business of companies based on poor families of India who needs cash money

Below are a few examples of what happened for microfinance loans that destroyed families. Most of these microfinance companies are not however licensed or registered or have permission under Reserve Bank of India for operating their business in a state which is mandatory ( except Recently Utkarsha microfinance, Bandhan Bank after deposition of 500 crores. Bandhan however started its business with 2 lakh INR and three staff in 2009 as a small MFI unit and now owner of 10 thousands of crores INR loan and where from that huge profits came to Bandhan Bank owner Mr Chandra shekhar Ghosh? ) and doing all illegal transactions of money with NGO licence or NBFC licences under section 8 of company act 2013 or under 1956 company act which do not permit for money lending business in India.

West Bengal is one of the top five states in India in terms of the gross loan portfolio and out of ten districts with high amount of loans, nine-North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas, Murshidabad, Jalpaiguri, Nadia, Bardhhaman, Hooghly, Howrah and Cooch Behar- are from West Bengal where these microfinance companies operate through their salaried feild people or agents field workers, targeting illiterate semi literate poor married women of any locality in the name of social or families welfare women empowerment women upliftment with their loan through a gosthi system of 12/25/40 women.

According to a report published in Business Standard, "In its state-wise ticket size and macroeconomics analysis, the agency said it has observed that the average outstanding per unique borrower is the highest in States of West Bengal and in Assam, and this has been the case at least for the past three years (2019-2023)". It also reports that "40-50 per cent of the microfinance loan portfolio in both Assam and West Bengal are from one or two institutions. (sic, Bandhan, Ashirbad )" And it indicates the monopoly of 2/ or 3 institutions in the microfinance sectors.

Tamil Nadu State has displaced West Bengal to emerge as the largest State in terms of the outstanding profit portfolio of microfinance loans. According to MFIN Micrometer Q4 of FY 2021-22, a quarterly report published by Microfinance Institutions Network (MFIN), the gross loan portfolio (GLP) of Tamil Nadu was as of March 31, 2022 stood at ₹36,806 crore. It was followed by Bihar (₹35,941 crore) and West Bengal (₹34,016 crore). At the end of Q3 of FY2022, West Bengal topped the chart with the highest outstanding profit portfolio of loans at ₹32,880 crore, followed by Tamil Nadu (₹32,359 crore).

The top 10 States (based on total microcredit universe) constituted 82.4 per cent of total GLP of the industry. West Bengal was followed by Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. According to the report, around 64 per cent of the microfinance portfolio is concentrated in the East, Northeast, and Southern regions of India.

The 41st issue of the Micrometer report said the microfinance industry served 5.8 crore unique borrowers, through 11.3 crore loan accounts. The overall microfinance industry has a total GLP of ₹2,85,441 crore as of March 31, 2022, an increase of 10 per cent year-on-year (YoY) from ₹2,59,377 crore as of March 31, 2021.

Lender-wise distribution of microfinance loan:
Lender-wise distribution of micro-loans shows that 12 banks held the largest share of the portfolio in micro-credit with a total loan outstanding of ₹1,14,051 crore, or 40 per cent of the total microcredit universe. NBFC-MFIs are the second largest providers of micro-credit with a loan amount outstanding of ₹1,00,407 crore, accounting for 35.2 per cent of the total industry portfolio. Small finance banks (SFBs) have a total loan amount outstanding of ₹48,314 crore, accounting for 16.9 per cent, followed by non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) at 6.9 per cent share. Other MFIs account for 1 per cent of the universe.

The report noted that the proportion of NBFC-MFI portfolios in the universe portfolio increased by 4.1 per cent to 35.2 per cent as of March 31, 2022, though banks continued to be the main contributors. The geographical distribution of the portfolio also witnessed a change with a decrease in the share of the east and northeast region of India by 3.3 per cent, while the share of the south and north regions increased by 1.3 per cent each.

"The microfinance industry has shown good progress during Q4 of FY2022, building on the momentum profits created in Q3. The portfolio quality has improved significantly as compared to the end of Q1 FY2022, when the second wave of Covid-19 had caused widespread stress across the country," Alok Misra, CEO & Director, MFIN said, in a statement. "The announcement of harmonised regulations for microfinance, near normalisation of collection efficiency and recent verdict of the Supreme Court stating that NBFC regulation is under the sole purview of the RBI are hugely positive trends, which will see good growth in 22-23," he added

Many of critics say that microcredits of MFIs or NBFCs had never increased incomes, but it had driven poor households into a debt trap, in some cases even leading to depression followed by suicide as we described above. They add that most of the money from loans are often used for repaying the EMI interest of the loan once was taken, instead of being used for any productive investments, thus it failed to empower women at all ever, and that it has neither improved health nor the education of family members of borrowers. Moreover, as the access to micro-loans is widespread, borrowers tend to acquire several loans from different companies, making it nearly impossible to pay the debt back as Mrs Sapna Bhattacharya described.

As a result of many such tragic events like domestic violence, homicide, suicides happening. Microfinance institutions in India once agreed on setting an interest rate ceiling of 15 percent,though these MIFs and NBFC however never followed that 15 percent yearly interest of loans and take much higher interest, unethically,in unlawful ways in the real worlds.This is an important to take care off by the local state government to regulate legal MIFs

Several previous studies conducted all over the world concluded, where microfinance has been applied, showed that microfinance companies' microcredit loan was not as effective as it was expected in getting poor people and their families out of poverty. Rather it submerged many family members in tremendous financial curse and destroyed families who took MFI/ NBFC / private loans. According to the American Economic journal: applied economics; microfinance benefits were rather oversold to the public in relation to their risks,ills, dangers, in India, Bangladesh.

The research on psycho-social impact on microfinance was not given however enough attention, instead they get out of poverty quickly get a loan to run a small business project was overemphasised, such that negative repercussions of MIF loans were unforeseen.Therefore according to this author microfinance seems to benefit more to the givers of loan ( ie owner of the MIF companies) than to the receivers or borrowers.

Many people who have evaluated the impact of microfinance have based it on( ?)financial success, not its social, familial and psychological impact i.e. the pressure of work individuals are under to ensure they pay back the interest of loan. Not enough assessment is done to ensure balance in recovery as it undermines emotional trauma and pressure.

Introduction of debt to those with a stable income is such a burden; now imagine introducing debt to vulnerable, overwhelmed individuals facing masses of challenges such as food security and uncertainty. The impact can only be estimated as devastating.

If this author looks back at past in 2010s in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh districts 30 to 45 pepole committed suicide due to microfinance loans, due to coercive method of repayment of microfinance loan by MFI.These suicide were reported from different districts of Andhra Pradesh within 45 days from January 2010.

The story was that MFI companies charged exorbitant interest on the principal amount and borrowers were caught in a situation where they were forced to borrow from another money lender to repay the existing loan. The borrowers were caught in vicious cycle of loans which they can not repay this forcing them to end their life (Ref no 11)

In year 2020 February,at Dibrugarh of Asam state, Women of Moran, under Dibrugarh district and Mahmara under Charaideo district of Assam submitted a memorandum to the Magistrates of the concerned areas to allow them to commit suicide if microfinance companies there are not shut immediately. The women accused that recovery agents of the microfinance companies did all sorts of harassment over interest rates on the loans provided." Our families are below the poverty line.

We took the money as we needed it. (Who doesn't need money?) We just took the loans but we have been repaying the loans. However, if one of us was unable to pay the money on time, the recovery agents harass her and extract money in other ways. We request the government to take stock of these situations and help us," said one of the protesters.(Reference no -15)

They also demanded that they must be relieved from the interests of the loans that they had taken in the first or 2nd places. It may be mentioned here that several organisations had earlier staged a protest against the functioning of microfinance companies with competitive ways with another MFI or with NBFCs, which they alleged had ruined the rural economy too.

They thereafter sought a ban on the microfinance companies and non banking financial organisation in Assam state. If it is so why no ban order to be passed by West Bengal State govt??

Another woman who has demanded
From West Bengal,in 2021, Mr Sadhan Sinha 40 years old (who used to earn Rs 15000 to 20000 a month) of Bindupara Village of Murshidabad District,West Bengal ( Ref no- 4, 6) is another victim example in 2021. He took a loan of Rs 1 lakh from a MIF operating in Murshidabad and had been unable to pay his monthly instalments of Rs 3,400 for May and June 2021 and he begged for a few days' time but recovery agents did not listen. The recovery agents sat down outside the house, using abusive languages and saying they would not leave without collecting the dues.

"...My husband felt so humiliated that he killed himself�," said weeping Mamoni, mother of two sons, aged 18 and 15.( Ref no 12) Sadhan's decision to take the loan in January 2021 and his subsequent suicide underline the fact that how millions of ordinary Indians were taken unawares by the covid- 19 pandemic's second wave, blamed partly on the central government's short-sightedness in prematurely declaring victory over the virus and letting its guard down.

The Reserve Bank of India however tried to give all kinds of loan borrowers relief by instructing all banks and all financial institutions to consider a debt recasting, provided EMI dues have been cleared before February 2020 ie before the first state or pan India lock down anounced for COVID-19 by government.

But, as Mr Sadhan's death suggests, not every borrower had access to the relief by these MFIs companies, only because of lack of knowledge and information,as they are mostly less educated and poor people. While the debt recasting is a prerogative of banks or the micro finance companies or NBFCs, the problem is that most people who are in dire need of the facility don't know about RBI directions on this issues

There was relief to those borrowers who had opted for loan payment restructuring under the RBI scheme as well. The RBI permitted the MFIs,NBFCs,Banks and to all lending entities to modify the plans of repayment of loans and increase the moratorium period minimum by another minimum two years with minimum EMI.The RBI said that after all MFI,NBFC banks,receive a restructuring proposal from any borrower to repay principal loan, they must have to take a decision on the application of borrowers within 30 days and in favour of borrowers.

This will happen when the lending institutions and the borrower will agree to work out a resolution plan according to the capacity of borrowers to repay the loan after maintenance of his family at minimum daily wages he or she earns. After this, the resolution plan must be finalised and implemented within 90 days from the date of invocation( ref 13)

Debt may be good but never in the state of indebtedness! It has both qualitative and quantitative implications. Propensity to debt, especially "indebtedness" is a matter of big concern. Impact of indebtedness varies both in degrees and dimensions.

The state of being in debt (indebtedness) covers both personal and behavioural finance and is blended with positive and negative outcomes. On the minor positive end, people who have easy access to money to debt from the bank MFIs may have some chances for temporary financial wellness, provided the money is used for productive, gain business.

The negative outcomes of money lending are desertion, huge distress and depression of the indebted consumers. Many times, such incidence results in forced migration as observed in the cases of absconding.

The extreme end of indebtedness leads to suicidal tendencies often culminating at self-killing! Such unpleasant incidents potentially affect the present as well as the future of a person. Sometimes the shock of indebtedness cascades down to a couple of generations. Recent agitations of the Tamil farmers, protesting for the announcement of a drought relief package and loan waiver, are evidences to what debt-distress is and what it can do!(14)

In conclusion, to me and for Poor's, job less people, illiterate, semi literate people, people of urban, semi urban, rural villages Microfinance Companies Is Not At All A Blessing It Is Rather A Big Cruse. It Should Be Stopped Immediately and MFI company owners/ their agents ( Money landers ) to be punished for illegal money lending to borrowers with exorbitant high interest rate beyond nationalised bank interest rate or RBI Bank interest rate fixed for Microfinance registered companies with RBI.Government of West Bengal and Govt of India should take interest in sensitising people about the curse of microfinance loan otherwise the poor people will go more poorer and borrower families will be destroyed.

  1. Moumita Alam "Microfinance debt trap exploits Bengal villagers" People's Review Friday June 25021
  2. BL Chennai bureau "Tamil Nadu pips West Bengal to become the largest State in terms of outstanding microfinance loan portfolio" The Hindu business line June 15,2022
  3. Muskan Web Top 10 Microfinance in West Bengal December 17 2022
  5. soutik Biswas India's micro-finance suicideepidemic BBC News Medak Andhra Pradesh 16 December 2010
  9. Microfinance - A blessing or a cruse
    International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research, Volume 4, Issue 7, July-2013 345ISSN 2229-5518IJSER � 2013
  10. Sandip chaudhury West Bengal Share croper dies of suicide due to microfinance debt,many affected loans News click 22nd February 2022
  11. Thirty commits suicide in 45 days to escape microfinance agents The economic Times Oct 15 2010
  12. Alamgir Hossain 'Plumber dies by suicide as EMI collection agents squat outside" samsergang in murshidabad The Telegraph 24.06.2021
  13. special correspondent "RBI re-opens one-time debt restructuring scheme for individual borrowers "The Telegraph 6.05.2021
  14. Pattnaik, Debidutta, Indebtedness - From the Perspective of Commercial Microfinance in India (July 28, 2017). Available at SSRN: or
  15. Assam Women Seek " Suicide Permission" Citing Harassment by Microfinance Companies India Today NE 06.2 2020
Written By: Professor Dr Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya - MD (University of Calcutta) Fic Path, WBMES ( retired), Ex Retired Professor,and Head Dept. of Pathology department, Calcutta School of Tropical Medicine, 108,C.R.Avenue, Kolkata -700073, West Bengal, India, Department of Health and Family Welfare (WBMES wing) Government of West Bengal Equivalent officiating Rank retired:
"Special Secretary " to the Government of West Bengal - Ex- Principal of JMN Medical College, JMN Educational and Research Foundation, Chakdaha, District- Ranaghat,West Bengal India. At present - (since 6.02.2023): Posted Professor and Head of Pathology Department ( every year renewal contractual but full time), JIS School of Medical Sciences and Research ( under JIS University, Nilgange, Agarpara, 24 Parganas North) Santragachi, Howrah District, West Bengal
Email [email protected], [email protected], Ph no: 9231510435

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