National Backward Classes Finance and Development Corporation (NBCFDC) is a government undertaking under the ministry of social justice and empowerment. It was set up to promote economic and development activities for the benefit of backward classes. Its managing director AA Naqvi spoke to HT on a range of issues. Excerpts:
What are the main objectives of the corporation?
The main objectives of the Corporation are to promote economic and development activities among backward classes, to assist individuals belonging to these classes by way of loans and promote economically and financially viable schemes and projects. It also promotes self-employment among backward classes, assists in the upgradation of their technical and entrepreneurial skills.
What is your target group?
NBCFDC gives financial assistance to the members of backward classes. Those in need of soft loans should live below double the poverty line.
What about the amount of funds disbursed by NBCFDC?
Since inception, the corporation has disbursed loans of Rs. 2,065.76 crore through its SCAs to assist over 14 lakh beneficiaries with a recovery rate of 89 per cent. NBCFDC's performance has been adjudged excellent in the last 12 years and it has been rated as one of the top 10 public sector enterprises four times. NBCFDC also received the SCOPE Meritorious Award for 2008-09 and 2010-11.
What schemes is the corporation implementing?
NBCFDC implements general loan scheme, margin money loan scheme and micro finance loan scheme at concessional rates of interest through state channelising agencies (SCAs). The general loan scheme provides term loans and helps individuals belonging to backward classes.
Do you have any specific schemes for the youth, particularly in the area of education?
The NBCFDC has revised its education loan scheme New Akanksha for students pursuing higher professional courses. The loan limit has been enhanced from Rs. 5 lakh to Rs. 10 lakh per student or Rs. 2.5 lakh per annum (for those studying in India) and Rs. 20 lakh per student (for those studying abroad). The rate of interest is 4 per cent per annum for boys and 3.5 per cent per annum for girl students.
What steps do you plan to take for skill development programmes of the target group?
Majority of population belonging to the backward classes are engaged in traditional activities such as carpentry, gardening and small farming among others. The corporation is taking all necessary steps to establish institutional linkages with national-level training institutes to provide skill development training to these traditional artisans so that their skills can be upgraded to make them aware of latest technology and techniques.
NBCFDC has also launched a scheme for artisans of backward classes called Shilp Sampada. The objective is to upgrade skills of backward classes and loans up to Rs. 10 lakh per beneficiary are available under the scheme.