Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: Self-help groups should move from extending micro-level credit to becoming micro-credit enterprises, as that alone will arrest the migration of people from rural to urban areas, K.V. Raghavulu, Chief General Manager, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, said on Monday.

Describing the SHG movement as revolutionary, Mr. Raghavulu said that thanks to it, women empowerment had been achieved. The rate of loan recovery was good.

The groups, he said, should not stop with getting loans for assets creation and for meeting family requirements; they should involve themselves in micro-enterprises.

At present there were four lakh groups in the State, and another two lakh were waiting for bank credits. Instead of increasing the number of the groups, banks should encourage micro-enterprise groups.

By generating job opportunities in rural areas through micro-enterprises, the migration of people to urban areas could be checked, he said, taking part in an award distribution function of the SHG-bank linkage programme.

M.S. Sundara Rajan, Chairman and Managing Director, Indian Bank, who distributed the awards, said after the movement was introduced, the rate of loan climbed to 99.5 per cent; in fact, these groups were acting as recovery agents of banks. Indian Bank had opened 11 branches, and each branch would extend Rs. 25 crore in credit to the groups. He appealed to the SHGs to tap the schemes run by banks to improve their livelihood.