Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday announced interest-free loan upto Rs 5 lakh for the women self-help group (WSHGs).
Till now, the State Government was providing interest-free loan upto Rs 3 lakh to the SHGs.
The announcement will be implemented retrospectively from April, 2022 and this move would benefit around 70 lakh women associated with six lakh self-help groups.
Describing this as a revolutionary step, the Chief Minister said that through this enhancement, the Mission Shakti groups can establish themselves as Small and Medium Enterprises. The lakhs of SHGs can take big loans to start big business, he said.
He said that women are playing pivotal roles in the transformation of Odisha. Today’s decision will play a major role in empowering them and strengthening the local economy, Patnaik said.
Stating that the goal of the state government is to make Mission Shakti members as small and medium entrepreneurs, the Chief Minister said that his government has taken initiatives to provide loans of about Rs 50,000 crore to Mission Shakti groups in the next five years.
He hoped that the Mission Shakti groups would be able to establish themselves as successful entrepreneurs.
As per the promise made by the state government, businesses worth Rs 4000 crore to the Mission Shakti groups in the last 3 years, the CM said.
In addition to this, loans worth over Rs 17,000 crore have been provided to the SHGs in the last five years, he added.
Stating that the Odisha government has been providing interest-free loan facilities up to Rs 3 lakh to encourage the Mission Shakti groups, Patnaik said that the state government has provided Rs 500 crore of interest to the bank accounts of four lakh SHGs in this programme.
Describing Mission Shakti as an innovative initiative towards women empowerment, the Chief Minister said that it has brought together 70 lakh mothers of the state through 6 lakh Self Help Groups.
To take the movement further, the state government has set up a separate Mission Shakti department and all SHG programs are being implemented through this department, he said.
It is worth noting that on June 1, 2020, Mission Shakti Department was established and all the SGH programs of the state were brought under one department.