Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday released capitalization support funds to the tune of Rs 1,625 crore to over 4 lakh self help groups (SHGs).
In addition, he also released Rs 25 crore as seed money for 7,500 SHGs members under the Prime Minister Formalisation of Micro Food Processing Enterprises Scheme of Ministry of Food Processing Industries, and Rs 4.13 crore as funds to 75 Farmer Producer Organizations being promoted under the Mission.
Modi also interacted with women SHG members, community resource persons promoted under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission through video conferencing.
During the event, a compendium of success stories of women self help group members from all across the country, along with a handbook on universalization of farm livelihoods was released by the Prime Minister.
Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister lauded the self hlep groups of women for their unprecedented services during the Corona period. He recognized their unparalleled contribution in making masks and sanitizers and providing food to the needy and spreading awareness.
He said that to increase the scope of entrepreneurship among women and for greater participation in the resolve of AatmaNirbhar Bharat (Self Reliant India), a major financial support has been given today to more than 4 lakh SHGs on the eve of Raksha Bandhan.
He said that the Self help group and Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana have brought a new revolution in rural India.
He added this movement of women self-help groups has intensified in the last six and seven years.
He recalled the time before this government “when crores of the sisters did not have a bank account, they were miles away from the banking system”.
That is why the government started the massive campaign to open Jan Dhan accounts, he said.
He said that today, there are more than 42 crore Jan Dhan accounts of which close to 55 per cent of the accounts are of women. He said the bank accounts were opened to make it easy to take loans from banks.
He said that the amount of help the government has provided for the sisters under the National Livelihood Mission is many times more than the previous government.
An unsecured loan of about Rs 4 lakh crore has also been made available to self-help groups. He said in the last seven years self-help groups have also done a great job of repaying banks. There was a time when bank loans close to 9 per cent became NPA. Now it has come down to 2-3 per cent.
He also announced that now the limit for loans available to self help groups without guarantee has been doubled to Rs 20 lakh.
He said there are endless possibilities for women self help groups in the agriculture and agro-based industry. He said a special fund has been created so that Self-help groups can also create these agro-based facilities by taking help from this fund. All the members can take advantage of these facilities, by fixing reasonable rates and can also rent out to others.