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8 of 10 Mudra scheme borrowers are women

businesspaper Updated: Jul 06, 2016, 05:44 IST

NEW DELHI: Almost 8 out of 10 borrowers under the government’s ambitious Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY) are women, 27 million of whom took loans through the scheme meant to promote credit to micro enterprises.

As of May 31, 2015, financial institutions had lent to a total of 35 million borrowers, according to government data. Also, 18.4 million of the total borrowers were from backward classes, with a “sizeable” number women in this category also.

Credit under the Mudra scheme, launched in April last year, is aimed at non-corporate small businesses (NCSB) and creating income to hedge the uncertainties arising in the agriculture sector.

Data collated by the public sector banks also revealed that several of these borrowers are not new entrepreneurs and have availed the benefit as a “top-up” loan.

“This is one of the reasons why there is a large number of women borrowers and in many cases, it has been seen that the loan has been taken to set up some small business and support the existing farm business and the income that comes from that,” said a senior official at a large public sector bank.

The reason for the higher number of women borrowers can also be ascribed to the participation of micro-finance institutions (MFIs) also. SKS Microfinance, which solely lends to women borrowers, had given out loans to 7.75 million borrowers as of March 31, 2016.

“Women are more disciplined borrowers and tend to take small loans for productive purposes. This means that their repayments are also on time making them a good target for such schemes,” said S Dilli Raj, president, SKS Microfinance.

By March-end non-banking MFIs, on a whole had, lent to over 20 million borrowers, accounting for almost 65% of the total borrowers.

While the government has exceeded their lending target, they have been asked to focus on borrowers from the backward classes.

Banks have also been asked to ensure that the scheme is publicised appropriately.

Under the Mudra scheme, loans of up to a maximum of ₹10 lakh can be availed.

“We are happy that women have come out in large numbers to avail this benefit, we are keeping an eye on the progress of this scheme including the recovery,” said a finance ministry official. He added that the status of the recently-launched schemes such as Stand Up India, Start India besides the social security programmes are being monitored carefully.

ht epaper

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