National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation (NSCDFC) was set up in 1989 to promote economic empowerment of persons belonging to scheduled castes. It was set up with an authorised share capital of Rs. 1,000 crore. Its chairman and managing director AC Padhi spoke to Hindustan Times. Excerpts:
What are NSCDFC’s objectives?
The objectives of NSCDFC are to economically empower scheduled caste persons living below double the poverty line (DPL) by providing concessional financial assistance for income generating activities by developing and upgrading their technical and entrepreneurial skills and assisting them in marketing avenues. The financing is done through the state channelising agencies (SCAs) nominated by respective state governments.
What are your loan schemes?
NSCDFC has several loan schemes for self-employment through income generating activities under agricultural and allied, industries and service sectors. The loan amount for the schemes ranges from Rs. 30,000 under micro credit finance to Rs. 30 lakh under term loan schemes. Mahila Samriddhi Yojana (MSY) and Mahila Kisan Yojana (MKY) are schemes for women. In addition, Shilpi Samriddhi Yojana (SSY) is a scheme for SC artisans.
Does NSCDFC have any scheme to provide loans to students for studies in professional and technical courses?
Yes. Apart from other loan schemes for self-employment activities, NSCDFC is operating Educational Loan Scheme (ELS) with the objective of providing concessional loans at the rate of 4% interest rate and 3.5% for women students to SC students to pursue full time professional courses from recognised institutions. The loans are extended through the respective SCAs.
What are the courses covered in the Scheme?
All full-time recognised professional and technical courses in the areas of engineering, medical, management, information technology, architecture, nursing, law, education, and journalism are covered. Loans are also offered for professional courses such as chartered accountancy, company secretary, cost accountancy and doctoral studies leading to Ph.D among others.
Are loans available for young professionals to set up their own ventures?
Yes. We also provide loans to young professionals of the target group to assist them in setting up their own ventures such as doctor’s clinic, chemist shops, engineering units, and offices of architects, advocates and chartered accountants, physiotherapy centres and bio-medical labs among others.
Is there a ceiling for loans? How is the loan supposed to be repaid?
For studies in India, loans up to R10 lakh and for studies abroad loans up to R20 lakh are available at the rate of 4% interest per annum with a rebate of 0.5% for women students. Loan repayment commences after six months of course completion or getting employment. The loanees are eligible for full interest subsidy under the central scheme of interest subsidy of the department of higher education of the HRD Ministry.