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PM self-employment scheme plagued by delays, Capt Amarinder govt wants bankers taken to task

The financing banks have sanctioned only 14% of the 3,132 applications recommended by three implementing agencies in the first six months of financial year 2017-18 for grant of loans for starting self-employment businesses.

punjab Updated: Oct 25, 2017 17:20 IST
Navneet Sharma
Navneet Sharma
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Punjab,Punjab banks,Capt govt
The state government led by Capt Amarinder Singh has taken a serious note of the sluggish response of banks and reported the delays to the Union ministry of micro, small and medium enterprises.(HT File)

The Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) has been plagued by delays in Punjab apparently due to the poor performance of banks in sanctioning and disbursing loans for setting up new enterprises.

Performance of key scheme in Punjab
  • The Centre had started Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) programme in 2008-09 by merging two earlier schemes. It aims at self-employment that further creates jobs.
  • 5,509 Loan applications received in first 6 months (Mar to Sept)
  • 3,121 Applications cleared by district committees
  • 431 Requests then sanctioned by banks
  • 627 Requests rejected by banks
  • 304 Cases in which subsidy released
  • Rs 57 crore earmarked for Punjab in 2017-18
  • Rs 7.87 crore Subsidy released by banks in first 6 months

The financing banks have sanctioned only 14% of the 3,132 applications recommended by three implementing agencies in the first six months of financial year 2017-18 for grant of loans for starting self-employment businesses to generate further job opportunities.

Of the total 5,509 loan applications received by the implementing agencies — Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), State Khadi and Village Industries Board (KVIB), and district industries centres (DICs) — between April 1 and September 30 this year, 3,121 applications were sent to the banks with approval of the district-level committees for sanctioning loans and margin money (subsidy).

Only 431 proposals have been cleared and subsidy of Rs 7.87 crore released to applicants thus far, according to industries department sources.

They said 2,294 applications involving margin money to the tune of Rs 41.44 crore are pending with banks. A total amount of Rs 57 crore has been earmarked for the state under the programme this year.

The state’s Congress government led by Capt Amarinder Singh has taken a serious note of the sluggish response of banks and reported the delays to the Union ministry of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME).

“We have asked the ministry to ensure accountability of bankers by inserting a column on their performance in implementation of such government programmes in annual appraisals,” an industries department official told HT.

The department also took up the issue with senior officials of the MSME ministry, the implementation agencies and the leading banks in a meeting last month. Almost all top public and private sector banks are associated with the programme. However, Punjab State Level Bankers’ Committee convener PS Chauhan sought to explain the delay. He said the government has set up a web portal for receiving and processing applications.

“Due to connectivity problems faced by bank branches in rural areas, there have been some gaps after the online system was introduced. These things take time to stabilise. Banks are trying to speed up clearances,” he insisted.

The state government is likely to raise the issue in the next meeting of the SLBC too.

The Centre had started the programme in 2008-09 by merging two schemes, Prime Minister’s Rozgar Yojana and Rural Employment Generation Scheme, with the KVIC as the nodal agency.

First Published: Oct 25, 2017 09:50 IST