Municipal Administration Minister M. Mahidhar Reddy on Thursday exhorted the Mission for Elimination of Poverty in Municipal Areas (MEPMA) to bring all urban poor women under the fold of Self Help Groups.

Speaking after distributing cheques for Rs.1.41 crore towards bank linkages to 79 groups in Kandukur town, he said all those living below poverty line in slums in cities and towns should be formed into SHGs and bank linkages arranged to improve their living condition.

He noted with satisfaction MEPMA's effort in ensuring a very good 91 per cent recovery of loans to the tune of Rs. 5.13 crore advanced to urban poor women by banks in Prakasam district for viable economic activities. The recovery rate was as high as 98 per cent in Kandukur, he further noted.

The MEPMA, the nodal agency for implementing Rajiv Awas Yojana had a crucial role in ensuring slum-free cities and towns by improving the basic amenities including roads and drains in the slums on par with other parts of the town concerned, he said.

The Minister also distributed pension to over 1,400 beneficiaries and a scholarship of Rs.600 each to 89,400 members of SHGs for education of their wards under the “Abayahastham'' scheme and inaugurated MEPMA's beauticians course for 50 women and computer training course for 100 women in the town.

The Minister also laid the foundation stone for two 33 x 11 kv sub stations to be set up at a cost of Rs.1.25 crore each.