In order to empower women and make them self-sufficient, the government is all set to focus on Self-Help Groups (SHGs) specifically. The Ministry of Rural Development is currently focussing on boosting entrepreneurship among the rural women, and for this, it will be selecting three-four lakh women SHGs. The government aims to aid rural women enterprises in converting their nano enterprises into micro ones.

As per the government data available, three-four lakh women SHGs have utilised at least seven lakh of the 10 lakhs available under NRLM. In the stock-taking exercise by the government, these groups also demonstrated the potential of setting up a wider market

Higher Loans Will Now Be Available For SHGs

The SHGs will now have access to higher loan amounts under the Aajeevika-National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM). This will help them in scaling up their enterprises. As per the government data available, three-four lakh women SHGs have utilised at least seven lakh of the 10 lakhs available under the NRLM. In the stock-taking exercise by the government, these groups also demonstrated the potential of setting up a wider market.

It has been found that women are more disciplined with money as compared to men. This means that every loan amount sanctioned for women gives birth to a possibility of multiplication of jobs, poverty alleviation and the creation of a prosperous society.

A ministry official, however, said that the initial loans taken by these women are used for their children’s education, or to retire their debts. “Once these are taken care of, they then move on to the economic activity. Many of the SHGs have gotten into higher-order activities, but their credit linkage is for very basic level activities. They are, at the most, able to come and display their products at national level exhibitions, but beyond that to scale it up, they needed better credit,” the official told The Indian Express.

Better Order Bank Linkages And E-Commerce Portals

The official also said that helping these women formalise their business has been included in the Union Government’s 100-day agenda. Following this, a campaign will be rolled out to register them as micro-enterprises. Under this target, the government will also aim at providing better bank linkages to the SHGs, better overall facilities when it comes to banks and also similar e-commerce portals such as Amazon. Some such enterprises include vermicomposting, setting up a marketplace for farm produce, small shops, running smaller vehicles for public transportation, custom hiring centres for farm implements, or retail.

“We will also help them get an MSME registration, a GST registration, and an income tax registration. If they have these three, they qualify for the 59-minute bank loan sanction scheme,” said the official.

Micro Finance Institutions And Women Empowerment Go Hand In Hand

Microfinance is very popular among the rural population and the majority of its beneficiaries are women. Microfinance not only provides easy loan to the women for their enterprise but also connects them with small joint liability groups. This helps them in networking and knowing the world in a better way. Also, microfinance has its branches even in the remotest of rural areas. This ensures easy access to loans and streamlined finance disbursal process. It has been found that women are more disciplined with money as compared to men. This means that every loan amount sanctioned for women gives birth to a possibility of multiplication of jobs, poverty alleviation and the creation of a prosperous society.

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