Credit linkage of Women Self-Help Groups (SHG) with banks in West Bengal has been doubled in the 2015-16, state Panchayat and Rural Development Minister Subrata Mukherjee on Saturday said.
“For the first time ever, the credit target fixed has been achieved during 2015-16. This year, as against a credit linkage target of Rs 1,930 crore all banks collectively extended credit to SHGs to the extent of Rs 2,012 crore, as available in NRLM portal, a public domain. The credit linkage has almost been doubled reaching Rs 2,012 crore (as compared to 2014-15),” he said.
Mukherjee was speaking at the conference on SHG credit linkage organised by the state rural livelihood mission Anandadhara. In the 2013-14, credit linkage was only Rs 926 crore, which was marginally increased to Rs 1026 crore in 2014-15, he said.
This year growth rate in the state is the highest (96.10) and it has surpassed Andhra Pradesh (72.08) in percentage terms. Though the growth rate of Bihar (114.64) appears to be higher than West Bengal in absolute terms, credit deployment in West Bengal is four times higher, he said.
“With this achievement this year, West Bengal has been elevated to the fifth largest state slot in the country in terms of total credit linkage during the year breaking into a group which erstwhile comprised of only southern states,” Mukherjee said. All three regional rural banks operating in the state have performed excellently and contributed 62 per cent of the total credit extended to the Women SHGs, he said.
“We request all public sector banks to be little more generous while sanctioning loans to SHGs, since credit is the most important component for poverty eradication,” the minister said. The West Bengal State Rural Livelihoods Mission (WBSRLM), launched in the state in 2012, is mandated to nurture and support poor rural women organised into SHGs to come out of poverty, through capacity building and providing support for their livelihoods including financial inclusion through linkage with banking system.