Non-performing assets (NPAs) of self-help groups (SHGs) have gone down to 1.8 per cent, Union Rural Development Minister Giriraj Singh said on Tuesday and called upon banks to provide incentives to those having NPA of less than one per cent. Speaking at an event here, Singh said NPA for self-help groups was 9.58 per cent in 2014. “NPA has come down to 1.8 per cent as I speak…,” he said.
Singh stressed that loans given to those in need do not become NPA.
“When I was the Cooperative Minister, I sent a team to Bangladesh to understand why NPA was lesser there. When they returned, I understood that need-based finance never becomes NPA. The loans given at face value become NPA,” he said.
The minister said that a waiver of three per cent will be given on the interest being paid on loans. He also urged banks to provide incentives to those who have NPA of less than one per cent.
Singh was speaking at a gathering after launching “Sangathan Se Samridhhi – Leaving No Rural Woman Behind”, a national campaign aimed at mobilising 10 crore women from eligible rural households into self-help groups.
The minister said that in 2014, only 2.35 crore women were part of self-help groups and the number has increased to more than nine crore now.
“Our aim is to increase the number to 10 crore by 2024,” he said.
He said the government is working on covering SHG workers under a pension scheme.
The campaign’s primary objective is to mobilise disadvantaged rural communities unaware of the benefits of the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM).
The campaign will be organised in all states with the expectation of forming more than 1.1 lakh SHGs.
SHG members from different states participated in the event and women from Bihar, Tripura, Telangana, Maharashtra and Haryana shared their experiences on how the DAY-NRLM SHG movement supported them to come out of poverty by creating livelihood opportunities leading to their economic independence and social empowerment.