Postal cell to disburse credit to women self help groups

September 29th, 2008 - 9:03 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 29 (IANS) India Post, the country’s postal department, Monday said it will disburse micro-credit to women self help groups (SHGs) in eight states and the North East through its tie-up with the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard). The states that have been earmarked for this project are Bihar, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh, an official statement said.

This scheme was earlier operational in only five districts of Tamil Nadu on a pilot basis.

Postmasters have been specially trained in nurturing SHGs and making inspections. Almost 2,000 post offices in nine postal divisions are involved in this operation, the statement said.

An interest of 9 percent is charged on the loans, out of which India Post has a share of 3 percent and the remaining 6 percent goes to Nabard.

India Post and the state-owned State Bank of India have also launched a unique joint project in Punjab to provide banking facilities in the rural areas.

People in the state’s rural areas can now access SBI’s loan and deposit schemes through post offices.

The facility has already been set up in 43 post offices. The target is to extend the arrangement to 600 more.

Postmasters of rural postal branches have been specially trained for this purpose, the statement added.

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