As many as 181 self-help groups (SHGs) and 206 individuals were given assistance amounting to Rs. 76.40 lakh under various schemes of the Karnataka Minorities Development Corporation here on Saturday.

Cheques for Rs. 18.10 lakh were distributed under two schemes aimed at helping self-help groups. Of this, Rs. 12.90 lakh went to 129 SHGs with 25 per cent subsidy. The remaining amount was given to 52 SHGs without subsidy.

As many as 109 people got loans amounting to Rs. 36 lakh at the rate of 2 per cent interest under the Arivu (knowledge) scheme aimed at promoting education. The scheme is open to those opting for professional courses such as medical, engineering, D.Ed, ITI, nursing, MBA, MCA, BDS, among others. The maximum assistance given under the scheme is Rs. 75,000. The amount has to be repaid within one year after the course is completed.

Under the Swavalambana (self-dependence) scheme, 36 people got assistance amounting to Rs. 7.50 lakh. The scheme aims at providing margin money at the rate of 7 per cent interest through banks to start businesses, cottage industries, services, or take up agriculture, etc.

An amount of Rs. 7.05 lakh was distributed to 59 artisans under the scheme, Shrama Shakthi. It comprises of 25 per cent subsidy and the rest as loan. Two persons, Abdul Rahim of Kandathpalli and Abdul I. of Krishnapura, each received a car valued at Rs. 3.82 lakh.

Mr. Rahim said he got the loan at the rate of Rs. 6 per cent under the scheme whereas bank loans for vehicles were generally available at the rate of 16 to 18 per cent interest. He will have to repay the amount at the rate of Rs. 6,000 a month. N.B. Aboobakkar, Chairman of the Corporation, legislators representing Mangalore and Mangalore City South constituencies respectively U.T. Khader and N. Yogish Bhat were present.

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