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Posted On: 28 April 2009 10:12 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

Nationals favour loan waiver

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A majority of Qatari respondents in a survey conducted by a local Arabic daily said they backed state intervention to check increasing indebtedness in their midst. In the survey, some 40 citizens in the age group of 23 to 56 years — both male and female and from different walks of life, including government employees, students and housewives — were asked whether the government should write off nationals’ bank loans. At least 68 percent of the respondents said yes to the state waiving off bank loans of citizens, citing increasing financial constraints faced by indebted Qatari households as the reason. One respondent emphatically said he supported government action in helping end the problem of indebtedness in the Qatari community since the cost of living in the country was zooming skywards. Sultan Al Suwaidi, justifying state intervention, said some other GCC countries had given high salary increments to government employees and even set up funds to cover up for nationals’ bank loans. Fahad Al Balouchi, backing Al Suwaidi in his call for state support, said there was a need to ensure that limited-income Qatari families repaying huge bank loans had enough left with them each month so they could run their households comfortably. He, however, said he agreed that the culture of consumerism in their midst needed to be brought under control. But not all respondents were in favour of seeing their bank debts written off as a gesture of state largesse. Some were vehemently opposed to the idea and argued that the move would encourage people facing a debt burden to be callous with their finances and even prompt them to borrow more. Twenty-three percent of the respondents said they wondered how writing off their bank loans was possible, while nine percent said they were undecided on the issue. “Additionally, waiving off loans involves complicated and cumbersome financial procedures…I don’t think it is a viable suggestion,” said Mohamed Al Marri.