Staff Reporter

Financing SHGs is considered the safest credit business by bankers

Credit link given to 29.24 lakh groups in the country as on March 31, 2007

KANCHEEPURAM: The pro-active role of the State government in popularising and effective implementation of self-help group concept among rural womenfolk has brought about a dramatic change in socio-economic status of rural masses, according to Collector Santosh K. Misra.

He was inaugurating a three-day Collaborative Exposure Programme on Financing self-help groups for bankers, organised jointly by the College of Agriculture Banking (CAB), Pune (a subsidiary of Reserve Bank of India) and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), at the Hand-in-Hand Tamilnadu office here on Monday.

Mr.Misra said the State government’s involvement and enthusiasm shown by the beneficiaries in utilising the opportunity helped achieve the prime objective of the scheme — to uplift rural people from poverty — with ease.

Claiming that financing the SHGs was considered to be the safest credit business by bankers in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, the Collector said that in view of the higher rate of recovery/repayment of loans it would make sense for bankers in other parts of the country to pursue this scheme.

Stating that the advantages relished by the schemes’ beneficiaries and financing institution led to phenomenal growth in number of SHGs in Tamil Nadu, Mr.Misra the SHG concept could be considered as an effective means to usher in a change in the status of rural economy in other parts of the country.

A total of 31 officials from nationalised and scheduled commercial banks, Gramin Banks (rural banks) such as MGB Gramin Bank, Rajasthan, Vananchal Gramin Bank, Jarkhand, Baitarani GB, Punjab and Jaipurtar GB, Jaipur and private banking and financial institutions such as HDFC and Axis Bank from north, north-eastern, east and western regions, have come down to Kancheepuram to take part in the training programme, said the programme coordinator, Mr.Thyagarajan of CAB.

Mr. Thyagarajan said credit link had been given to 29.24 lakh SHGs in the country as on March 31 this year. Out of this 29.24 lakh credit linked groups, 57 per cent belonged to southern region, followed by eastern region with 16.5 per cent, central region with 10 per cent, western region with 7.75 per cent, eastern region with 5.5 per cent and north-eastern region with 2.25 per cent, he added.