New Delhi – Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman today (5 Jul) said that the government will extend the interest subvention programme for women Self Help Groups (SHGs) to all the districts.
While presenting her maiden budget, Sitharaman said that “the role of women is a very sweet story” in India‟s growth particularly in the rural economy and the government wishes to encourage and facilitate the role of women.
Sitharaman is only the second women finance minister to present a union budget and the first full time women finance minister. Indra Gandhi was the first women finance minister.
One woman in every SHG will also be made eligible for a loan up to Rs 100,000 under the MUDRA Scheme. “The Government has supported and encouraged women entrepreneurship through various schemes such as MUDRA, Stand UP India and the Self Help Group (SHG) movement,” she added.
The government will also give a Rs 5,000 overdraft facility to every verified women SHG member with a Jan Dhan Bank Account, the minister said.
Reacting to the budget, Bharatiya Yuva Shakti Trust (BYST) Founding and Managing Trustee Lakshmi V. Venkatesan, said that the loan amount under the MUDRA scheme “could be much higher in order to set up a sustainable business”.
“The proposed cluster based approach for livelihood, technology incubators for rural artisans and encouragement for the agro sector can be further accentuated, if the Grampreneurs are adequately financed,” Venkatesan said.
Venkatesan also called for igniting and institutionalising a mentoring movement through public-private partnerships.