Credit and finance for MSMEs: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman chairing a performance review meeting on credit and other welfare schemes for scheduled castes (SCs) in public sector banks (PSBs) on Tuesday observed the need for banks to increase the coverage of SCs in all schemes. The minister also “advised PSBs heads to look into their (SCs) needs for capacity building, entrepreneurship development as SCs constitute about 18 per cent of the total workforce of the banks and financial institutions,” said a statement by the finance ministry.
The finance minister said that the objective of the meeting was to bring all stakeholders on a common platform to work together in the fulfilment of the rights enshrined in the constitution for the upliftment and betterment of SCs. Sitharaman also noted that performance in schemes — like the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) where 21 per cent of the credit-linked self-help groups (SHGs) were SCs and in PM-SVANidhi where 19 per cent of the beneficiaries were SCs — was satisfactory.
Launched on June 1, 2020, PM SVANidhi offers a working capital loan of up to Rs 10,000 for 12 months under the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative to Covid-hit street vendors including hawkers selling fruits, vegetables, tea, footwear, local snacks, books, etc.
The National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) Chairman Vijay Sampla during the review meeting requested banks to give all the due bank credits to SCs. “The bankers should ensure that the benefits of schemes such as National Livelihood Mission, Credit Enhancement Guarantee Scheme for Scheduled Castes, Venture Capital Fund for Scheduled Castes, etc. should reach to the targeted population,” he said.
The meeting was also called for reviewing the performance of other credit schemes including Stand-Up India, CGTMSE, and Mudra Yojana. The meeting will also attended by the union ministers of state (MoS) for finance Pankaj Chaudhary and Bhagwat Kisanrao Karad and the secretary at the Department of Financial Services (DFS).