The continued Government support and financial assistance are being extended to women self-help groups (SHGs) with the sole objective of ensuring women's emancipation and economic self-reliance, said Pongalur N. Palanisamy, Minister for Rural Industries and Animal Husbandry in the city recently.

He was speaking at a function organised to distribute Rs. 13.87 crore funds to 1,000 women SHGs as revolving fund and direct loans. Mr. Palanisamy pointed out that SHGs were first introduced by Chief Minister in 1989 in Dharmapuri district and today Coimbatore District has 16,470 women SHGs with 2.47 lakh members. In the last four years alone, 6,748 new groups had been formed and Rs. 61.21 crore had been extended as revolving fund and 10,780 had been provided with Rs. 10.78 crore subsidy. Tamil Nadu was spearheading the revolution in women SHGs when compared to other States.

District Collector P. Umanath said that as instructed by the Chief Minister now financial assistance was being given equally to all SHGs and not on the basis of criterions followed earlier. In Coimbatore District, women SHGs were able to avail financial assistance because of their prompt repayment practices of the past.

Mayor R. Venkatachalam, District Panchayat President C.R. Ramachandran, District Agricultural Marketing Committee Chairman A. Nachimuthu, spoke.

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