Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy credited interest-free loans amounting to ₹395 crore into the bank accounts of 3.95 lakh beneficiaries of the Jagananna Thodu scheme on Wednesday.
The scheme aims at extending financial assistance to small traders and traditional artisans in the State, almost 80% of whom are women and belong to the SC, ST, BC and minority communities.
The Chief Minister also disbursed ₹15.96 crore towards the interest reimbursement for traders who have availed of loans under the scheme in the last six months.
According to an official release, the government has disbursed interest-free loans worth ₹2,011 crore to 15,03,558 lakh persons so far under the scheme.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy said that small traders needed to be saved from the clutches of private moneylenders who charge exorbitant rates of interest.
The Chief Minister said he was shocked to hear from traders during his Praja Sankalpa Yatra that they had to pay ₹100 per ₹1,000 as daily interest.
Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy noted that he was in talks with banks to increase the loan amounts for those who had cleared their dues on time and thus earned the eligibility for fresh loans.
Further, the Chief Minister asserted that Jagananna Thodu was of tremendous help to small traders as the government was offering ₹10,000 to each trader, vendor and artisan without any interest. The government is bearing the entire interest burden.
Deputy Chief Minister B. Mutyala Naidu, Minister A. Suresh, Chief Secretary Sameer Sharma and Special Chief Secretary (ward and village secretariats) Ajay Jain were among those present on the occasion.