Interest-free loans up to Rs 10 lakh for SHGs in Odisha

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | February 27, 2024 IST

Naveen Patnaik

Bhubaneswar, Feb 27: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik unveiled the Mission Shakti loan scheme during a ceremony held at the Lok Seva Bhavan Convention Center in Bhubaneswar, aimed at benefiting 70 lakh self-help group (SHG) women in Odisha. Under this initiative, women can avail interest-free loans up to Rs 10 lakh, along with support in the form of uniforms and blazers. 

Additionally, Rs 145 crore  was distributed as interest subvention directly to the bank accounts of more than 2.75 lakh SHGs in the state. In the last 5 years, a total of Rs 925 crore has been returned to SHGs as interest subvention.

Expressing his enthusiasm for the Mission Shakti program, the Chief Minister emphasized his government's steadfast commitment to the well-being and empowerment of women. He highlighted the substantial government support provided to Mission Shakti Maa, amounting to Rs 8,000 crore, facilitating various livelihood initiatives. Notably, women's involvement in state programs and the formation of Nua Odisha signifies their integral role in governance and development.

Patnaik commended the transition of SHG women into Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), marking their entry into the corporate arena. To support this transition, substantial funds totaling Rs 730 crore were allocated for uniforms and blazers.

The launch of Mission Shakti Bazaar aims to promote and market products crafted by these women, with plans to establish 5,000 such bazaars and retail outlets across the state in the next five years.

In a significant move, the Chief Minister announced a bank loan of Rs 15,000 crore for Mission Shakti Maa this year, with plans to extend Rs 75,000 crore in bank loans over the next five years. Women in Odisha can now avail loans up to Rs 10 lakh without interest, with the state government bearing the interest costs, thus facilitating substantial savings for Mission Shakti members.

The program also saw the launch of the interest refund scheme, symbolizing the government's dedication to empowering women-led enterprises at the grassroots level. Minister Basanti Hembram lauded the government's commitment to women's empowerment, citing the interest-free loan scheme as a pivotal step in furthering women's economic empowerment.

Various dignitaries including Mission Shakti Adviser Lopamuda Baksi, Gitanjali Bastia, and Chief Administrative Secretary Pradeep Kumar Jena attended the event. Secretary of the Mission Shakti Department, Sujatha Raut Karthikeyan, highlighted the significant financial empowerment achieved through the interest-free loan system, underscoring women's crucial role in Odisha's transformation.

The event also featured testimonials from SHG leaders, such as Ketki Behera from Sambalpur, expressing gratitude towards the Chief Minister for his support and acknowledging the transformative impact on women's lives, enabling them to explore opportunities beyond traditional roles.

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