How MSMEs, households are falling deeper into debt trap despite FM’s stimulus

Debt, MSME
Data indicates most of the 6.33 crore MSMEs in the country, employing nearly 11 crore people, are hurting due to debt burden that worsened due to the COVID lockdown | Image - Eunice Dhivya

Laxman Pethekar, 44, a banking correspondent working in ICICI bank in Mumbai, had borrowed two personal loans from Aditya Birla Finance (₹1 lakh in February 2020) and from Bajaj Finance (₹4 lakh in 2019) for a five-year term.

As Pethekar already had a two-wheeler loan from ICICI bank, he was told he was not eligible for another loan. Hence, he opted for loans from NBFCs.

During the COVID-19 lockdown, Petherkar opted for two months of loan moratorium for both the loans and sought to restructure the Aditya Birla Finance from 5 years to 7 years. But he says the bank rejected his plea.

Restructuring of loans were meant to help repay as per their changed repayment capacity. Depending on the agreement reached with the bank, it could be by way of rescheduling of EMI tenure, lower interest rates or granting loan moratorium for maximum of two years.

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