Itanagar: Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Wednesday, virtually disbursed a total loan of Rs 8.27 crore to 789 Self-Help Groups (SHGs) under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana National Rural Livelihood Mission (DAY NRLM) provided by three banks: State Bank of India (SBI), Arunachal Pradesh Rural Bank (APRB) and the Arunachal Pradesh State Cooperative Apex Bank (APSCAB).

While APRB gave loans worth Rs 4.9 crore to 504 SHGs, SBI loaned Rs 2.26 crore to 174 SHGs. The APSCAB has doled out Rs 1.11 crore to 111 SHGs.

The DAY NRLM is being implemented by the Arunachal State Rural Livelihood Mission (ArSRLM) of the state Rural Development department facilitating a subsidised loan of Rs 1 lakh to each eligible SHG.

The event is a part of the nationwide ‘Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav’ in line with the AatmaNirbhar Bharat mission to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Indian Independence in 2022.

ArSRLM is currently implementing DAY NRLM in 22 districts and has brought 33,516 rural households under its wings. The dedicated mission management units at the state, district clusters and block levels provide continued support to SHGs for strengthening their institutions, financial inclusion, promotion of livelihoods and expanding the existing basket of livelihoods of SHG members.

Commending ArSRLM, especially its block-level coordinators, Khandu said that savings, thrift and micro-finance support to the SHGs under DAY NRLM have been instrumental in initiating a transformational change at the household level in rural areas.

“We are striving hard to address the formidable challenge of financial inclusion in rural areas where our citizens are not having the desired level of access to financial services. ArSRLMis taking forward the state government’s vision of deepening financial inclusion by providing access to affordable and appropriate financial services which would contribute towards improving GDP and lowering income inequality,” he said. 

Asserting that it’s the vision of the state government to transform the rural economy of the state, Khandu said that a proper roadmap has to be evolved to take the process further. He said he will soon have a brainstorming session with the concerned minister, coordinators and partner banks to take financial inclusion further into rural areas besides increasing the loan amount.

“It is a matter of pride that we today have about 3,796 SHGs, mostly of women, across the state. Our aim should be to handhold each of them through all means at our disposal. We also have to bring in all these SHGs under the SHG Bank Linkage Program,” he observed.

Khandu further said that the role of the government doesn’t end with providing loans. He said that at the end of the day, each SHG would have to repay the principal amount plus the interest to the bank.

“This is a business model. To enable the SHGs to profitably use the loan amount, we need to give them market linkage. This should be seriously taken into account by departments like Agriculture and allied sectors and agencies like the Arunachal Pradesh Marketing Board,” he stressed.

As per records, the state government has so far released DAY NRLM grants through ArSRLM in the form of a revolving fund to 2901 SHGs amounting to Rs. 435.15 lakhs and community investment fund to the tune of Rs.1285.16 lakhs to 280 Primary Level Federations of SHGs. These funds are resources in perpetuity for the SHGs and their federations, and are provided by the State Rural Livelihoods Mission to strengthen the institutional and financial management capacity of SHGs and their higher-order federations. 

Bankers especially the State Bank of India, Arunachal Pradesh Rural Bank and Arunachal Pradesh State Apex Cooperative Bank have been at the forefront in providing credit linkage support to SHGs under DAY NRLM where repayment rate is 100% to date. 

Representatives of various SHGs from across the state joined the virtual meet and put forth their respective experiences and suggestions. 

It was also attended by Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein and Rural Development Minister Bamang Felix, besides representatives of SBI, APRB and APSCAB.

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