Good news for minorities seeking self-employment. Now there is a greater economic assistance to be availed under the bank-linked subsidy scheme of the A.P. State Minorities Finance Corporation (APSMFC). A whopping Rs. 25 crore is earmarked under the bankable scheme for the year 2012-13, up from Rs. 8.7 crore last year.
What it means is there is a possibility of grounding as many as 16,666 units in the State, a large number of which will be in Hyderabad. This is if the subsidy cost is pegged at Rs. 30,000 per unit. If the unit cost is less, the number of beneficiaries can be more.
Though there is widespread resentment about the Rs. 489-crore budget for minorities welfare being a pittance – just one percent of the total State outlay plan, nevertheless the increase works out to 62 per cent. The APSMFC gets the lion's share of the budget in view of the scholarship, fee reimbursement and economic assistance schemes implemented by it.
Hyderabad district stands to gain a lot going by the large minority population here. At least 3,757 units with a subsidy component of Rs. 5.63 crore are expected to be grounded in Hyderabad against 1,185 in 2011-12. In view of the enhanced budget, the APSMFC has worked out the number of units and the subsidy component district wise. “We have already communicated the new targets to the Collectors to get them approved in the district-level bankers meeting,” said Ilyas Rizvi, Managing Director, APSMFC.
Under the scheme bank linked subsidy to a maximum of Rs. 2.5 lakh per unit is provided to set up a new venture or to upgrade the existing one. The Corporation gives subsidy of 50 per cent of the unit cost not exceeding Rs. 30,000 while the beneficiary contribution is 10 per cent and the rest bank loan. Of course, only those with an annual income below Rs. 50,000 are eligible.
The enhanced budget provides a ray of hope for minorities in the State capital caught in the private financiers' death trap. Availing the loan is easy since no surety is required, but sadly there is not much awareness about the APSMFC schemes in the Old City.
The Corporation plans to take up wide publicity about the scheme in all the 16 mandals of the city before applications are invited in May-June. Time public representatives, NGOs and individuals do their bit in creating awareness.