Government keen to reduce loan rate for self help groups: Ramesh

July 19th, 2011 - 1:08 am ICT by IANS  

Sonia Gandhi New Delhi, July 18 (IANS) The government is keen to bring down interest rate on bank loans to Self Help Groups (SHGs) and make it on par with that for crop loans, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh said here Monday.

The minister, who witnessed signing of a credit agreement worth Rs.4,600 crore ($1 billion approximately) with World Bank for National Rural Livelihoods Project (NRLP), said the government was also moving towards creating a dedicated bank for women SHGs.

He said the National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) would be renamed “Aajiwika” and will endeavour to include seven crore poor rural women in SHGs in the next 10 years.

He termed NRLM as the most important flagship programme in the United Progressive Alliance (UPA)-II and compared it with UPA-I’s Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.

The NRLP, which will be run under aegis of NRLM, will support specific investment in 12 states that have the highest number of poor people.

These states include Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal account for about 85 percent of India’s poor.

UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi had launched the NRLM from Rajasthan last month.

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