Union Minister for Rural Development Jairam Ramesh has asked the State government to step up utilisation of funds sanctioned for the Kudumbasree Mission under the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM).
In a letter to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Mr. Ramesh pointed out that the State could utilise only Rs.17.21 crore out of Rs.38.37 crore sanctioned under NRLM during 2012-13. The utilisation came to only 44.85 per cent of the sanctioned amount, he said. In the letter, sent on October 18, the Union Minister had also asked the State government to strengthen linkages between Kudumbasree Self-Help Groups (SHGs) and banks so that credit would be available to the SHGs at low rates of interest.
Noting that the demand for credit in rural areas was high in Kerala, the Union Minister said that this would be possible only if the banks were sensitised on the need to provide credit to the SHGs.
The SHGs in the State were targeting a credit mobilisation of Rs.957 crore during 2013-14, up from Rs.854 crore during 2012-13. There should be quarterly review meetings on SHG credit linkage with all the banks and the Kudumbasree Mission should facilitate establishment of community-based loan tracking and recovery mechanism at the level of the Community Development Society (CDS) and the Area Development Society (ADS) to instil greater confidence in the banks, he said.