The government is working on a universal debt relief scheme for small borrowers aimed to help small farmers, artisans and micro enterprises. The plan is likely to be ready for implementation when the new government is formed. The results of the Lok Sabha election that is currently underway will be declared on May 23.
Anyone below a specified income and asset threshold such as individuals with an annual income of Rs 60,000, outstanding loans of Rs 35,000 or less and assets worth Rs 20,000 or less will be eligible for the scheme.
Corporate Affair Secretary Injeti Srinivas told Economic Times that it will be a universal debt relief scheme for the poor. The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) is working on the scheme that will translate into one of the key changes considered for the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).
Srinivas said that cost of the scheme is not likely to exceed Rs 20,000 crore. Additionally, it will benefit millions in the small-ticket loan bracket. He also added that it is likely that there will be a 'personal insolvency cell' or a division in Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) to handle the debt relief, as mentioned in the daily.
While individuals in the specified bracket would be entitled to benefits from the scheme, individuals would also have the option to opt out of the same in order to protect their credit history. Srinivas said that the individual would be allowed the option to not avail the scheme because debt relief is likely to put a stigma on them and restrain them from availing future credit.