India’s anxious middle class is left waiting for EMI relief after the $22 billion Coronavirus lockdown package
- Many individuals were seen asking for a ‘pause’ on equated monthly installment (EMI) payments after being forced to take leave without pay.
- Not just salaried employees, but those who drive auto-rickshaws or Uber and Ola cabs, as well as small business owners, may need more time to pay their loans after the lockdown has brought their business to a standstill.
- However, Finance Minister
Nirmala Sitharamanhas so far focussed on the poorest of the poor, farmers, women, and self-help groups with the latest ₹1.7 lakh crore relief package.
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The Press Information Bureau’s YouTube feed was flooded with requests with people asking the government to pause
In the last press conference on March 24, Sitharaman had addressed a question on EMIs and said that the Department of Financial Services (within the Ministry of Finance that she heads) may take an appropriate decision. This stoked hope that thousands of people whose jobs, salaries, and appraisals are at stake — even businesses which have to pay monthly instalments on loans — may get some reprieve as part of the relief package. However, that hope came undone today.
The need for EMI relief
The lock down has forced many businesses to shut down and factories have had to close their doors. As a result, a few people have been forced to take unpaid leave— like in the case of GoAir, Indigo, and AIESL with hyperlink to the story — with the uncertainty around when the Coronavirus crisis will finally end.
Not just on YouTube, but also on Twitter, many individuals are pleading with the government to provide some relaxation. Infosys co-founder TV Mohandas Pai joined in asking the government to provide at least 6 months of deferment on EMI and loan interests.
@PMOIndia @narendramodi @nsitharaman Sir very good Economic stimulus for majority of Indians! Pl consider one for t… https://t.co/6Es9BulRwi— Mohandas Pai (@TVMohandasPai) 1585211483000
In addition to salaried employees, individuals who drive auto-rickshaws or those who drive Uber and Ola cabs also need more time to pay their loans since they won’t be able to ferry passengers during the lock down.
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