After President Pratibha Patil launched a scheme whereby 4% interest rate loans are to be sanctioned to women's self-help groups (SHGs), around 300 women SHGs have availed loans up to Rs 10 lakh from nationalized banks in Pune.
A senior district coordinator of Mahila Arthik Vikas Mahamandal (MAVIM), T L Shere said: "The scheme will enable women to take on more entrepreneurial activities and repay faster." The scheme is likely to benefit nearly 17 lakh rural women from a total of 1.42 lakh SHGs. The scheme reduces the interest rates from 9-11% to 4%.
MAVIM is a key agency coordinating the scheme in the Pune district.
These loans have been taken since October 10th from Bank of Maharashtra, Bank of India, Central Bank and State Bank of India. These banks have approved loans between Rs 50,000 and Rs 1 lakh.
25 SHGs have got the loan sanctioned where as for 10 SHGs the loan is soon going to get a green signal. The loan proposals by the SHGs mainly comprise for poultry, organic, goat and dairy farming.
"Around 45,000 SHGs will stand to get Rs 50,000, another 72,000 will get Rs 1 lakh and 18,000 SHGs will get Rs 2 lakh, with the state taking on an interest subsidy of nearly Rs 129.01 crore in three years," said Mr. Shere.
The banks have not been hesitant to extend loans to these SHGs in any way as they are confident about the repayment due to the past record of these groups. "We will be only too willing to help these women," said an official from a nationalized bank.
Pune's Garib Nawaz Bachat Gat was the first SHG which got loan of Rs 2 lakh from the President and it is now speeding up its plan on dairy farming. "It should start soon. We have mobilised our group," said Manisha Kale from the group.
Even though there are frequent measures taken to promote women SHGs, the awareness is low. Therefore Chandrakant Dalvi, District Collector of Pune plans to organize a meeting with the representatives of banks chosen to extend such loans. Later he would meet every taluka to discuss the matter.