Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, today, announced that the State government will provide interest-free loans of up to Rs 5 lakh to women Self-Help Group (SHG) members under the Mission Shakti programme. Previously, the zero-interest loan ceiling was fixed at Rs 3 lakh.
The new provision will come to force from April 1, 2022, Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said. The existing maximum loan limit of Rs 3 lakh was stepped up to Rs 5 lakh, the CMO clarified.
“Our Mission Shakti women members will now be able to establish themselves as Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs) by transforming from the existing SHGs. The women members will be able to set up larger business establishments by availing loans of higher amounts,” Patnaik said.
Women folk have made major contributions in the past days in transforming the State and they are integral parts of our society. Today’s decision will help empower them and boost the local economy as well. The aim of the government is to transform women SHG members into successful entrepreneurs.
As per the State government’s commitments, different women SHGs have been provided with business opportunities of around Rs 4,000 crore in the last three years. Moreover, zero-interest loans to the tune of Rs 17,000 crore have also been provided, the CMO expressed in a press release.
It has been decided that a total loan of Rs 50,000 crore will be provided to different SHGs under the Mission Shakti programme during the next five years, the official communiqué mentioned.
It is pertinent to mention here that the interest amount of a total of Rs 500 crore has been refunded so far through bank accounts of about 4,00,000 SHGs. Mission Shakti programme is an exceptional attempt of the State government towards women’s empowerment. At least 70,00,000 members have been united through around 6,00,000 women SHGs in Odisha.