The Ministry of Rural Development is focussing on 3-5 lakh Self Help Groups (SHGs) to boost entrepreneurship among women. It is planning to convert their nano enterprises into micro-enterprises.
- The Ministry will formalise these SHGs under the Aajeevika – National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) and provide them higher credit to scale up their enterprises.
- Under NRLM, SHGs are entitled to receive a maximum loan of up to Rs. 10 lakhs without any collateral for a period of six to eight years.
- The Ministry has conducted a stock-taking exercise on how many of the 52 lakh SHGs across the country have availed a loan of Rs. 7 lakhs.
- Around 3-5 lakh SHGs have been identified to have taken the amount as loan. They have also demonstrated their potential to have a larger market for their products.
Nano to Micro
- As per the Ministry, women in SHGs took loans initially to clear their debts, for consumption and for their child’s education.
- The loans that were taken after that were for economic activities.
- Many SHGs have taken to higher-order activities,
but their credit linkage is for basic level activities.
They can showcase and sell their products at the national level but to scale up they need better credit.
- Thus, a campaign is being launched by the Ministry as part of the government’s 100-day programme to formalise credit to these SHGs and help them scale up.
- In the campaign, the NRLM nano enterprises will be turned into micro and small enterprises with better bank linkages, bank loans, registration on government e-market portals, and other e-commerce portals such as Amazon.
- Also, the government will get these enterprises MSME registration, GST registration and income tax registration.
- With enterprises having these three registrations, can avail 59-minute loan from the government.
- As per the data from the MoRD, in 2013-14, a total loan of Rs. 2.5 lakh crore had been disbursed to SHGs and 7 per cent was the NPA. In 2018-19, the NPA percentage came down to 2.2%.
- A study conducted by the Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA), NRLM servicing areas saw the number of enterprises per village going up by 79 per cent, per capita monthly income by 22% and per capita productive livestock assets went up by 80%.
- In the 2018-19, there was a huge upward movement in the allocations for NRLM. It is increased by 60% and also offers Rs. 1 lakh MUDRA loan to one woman in each of the SHGs.
SHGs play a crucial role in women empowerment. They make them self-reliant and provide a source of income. SHGs provide financial independence for women. But, with limited credit availability, many SHGs are finding it difficult to scale their operations. The new campaign by the MoRD will definitely help eligible SHGs to scale up. It will increase their incomes and be a guide to other SHGs to work towards bettering their incomes.