Coronavirus scare: Traders unable to pay loan EMIs as businesses shut down

Updated: Mar 23, 2020, 07:50 IST | Samiullah Khan | Mumbai

Appeal to Maharashtra chief minister and Central government for longer window period to pay back, but no respite in sight for them

Shaikh Imran and Waseem Khan
Shaikh Imran and Waseem Khan

At a time when businesses across the country are suffering due to the restrictions put in place to fight the Coronavirus pandemic, traders and daily wagers who have taken loans are facing a tough time in paying the EMIs. Even though they have written to the CM and the central government as well, asking them for a longer window period to pay the amounts as a complete lockdown would affect their earnings further, there is hardly any respite for them in sight.

In this situation, those who have taken housing, personal and vehicle loans from banks and other financial companies, are facing a tough time, as for them it's difficult to pay even the next EMI. Some of them who have taken insurance for their loans are now asking the companies concerned to claim the amounts from the insurance firms. Speaking to mid-day, Shaikh Imran, who runs a garments business in Malad, said that he had taken a personal loan of '5.81 lakh from a finance company in 2019 and has been paying '17,000 as EMI every month. He had also got the loan insured by paying a one-time fee of '9,000.

He said, "Due to the Coronavirus epidemic my business has collapsed. It has become very difficult for me to manage the family expenses and repay the loan. At first I thought that maybe the insurance taken against the loan would work in such a situation, but when I spoke to the company regarding payment of the EMI, they categorically refused to pay. Whereas it is mentioned in the policy that if the person concerned loses his/her job then the company would pay up to three EMIs or the sum insured, whichever is lower." He further said, "Even though I am not in a job, the insurance company must consider my case given the situation we are in. I am not the only person, there are several others in the same situation. I have communicated the same to the government."

Thirty-eight-year-old auto driver, Waseem Khan from Gareeb Nagar area in Bandra, had taken a loan of '2.5 lakh to buy his auto and has been paying '8,000 per month as EMI. He has also taken a personal loan of '1.5 lakh from a finance company and was paying R6,000 as EMI for the same.

"Due to the epidemic everything has been shut down. How can I repay the loan when there is no income? I request the governments to help me out as this is a serious global concern. It seems that while the government has been considerate about issues related to pay cuts and have granted exemptions in several cases, the issue related to payment of EMIs of housing, vehicle, business and personal loans have not been considered."

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