Kolkata: In a bid to extend further support to Self-Help Groups (SHGs), the state Co-operation department has planned to increase the total amount that will be given to them as loans by the end of
the current fiscal by around Rs 400 crore compared to that of the previous year.
In 2016-17 fiscal, the state Co-operation department had given a loan worth Rs 600 crore to Self-Help Groups. This year, the top brass of the department has planned to increase the amount to Rs 1,000 crore to extend more financial assistance to the existing Self-Help Groups in the state and at the same time to help setting up of more of them. It may be mentioned that a co-ordination meeting was held between Agriculture and its allied departments held at Nabanna Sabhaghar on Friday.
Arup Roy, the state Co-operation minister and its senior officials including the department's Principal Secretary M Venkateswara Rao were also present in the meeting. In the inaugural ceremony of the meeting, Chief Secretary Malay De stressed on the need to increase the number of Self-Help Groups and to ensure that the existing ones get loans, based on their progress, to multiply their business.
According to senior officials, the plan of the state Co-operation department to increase the amount by Rs 400 crore to give loan to Self-Help Groups is quite crucial in this context. Arup Roy, the state Co-operation minister, said: "We are planning to give loan worth a total of Rs 1,000 crore to Self-Help Groups in the ongoing fiscal."
"The Self-Help Groups will get more financial assistance with the increase in the total loan amount and it will help them to increase the volume of their business. More people from the rural parts of the state can be brought under the Self-Help Groups," Roy said, adding that the existing ones will be benefitted out of it and at the same time new ones will also be set up. At present, there are around 2 lakh Self-Help Groups all across the state and there are 20 lakh members of the groups.
After the change of guard in the state, the Mamata Banerjee government had taken several steps to ensure better functioning of the Self-Help Groups and it helped in improving the rural economy of the state. At present most of the 2 lakh Self-Help Groups are successful in their own areas of business and many of them have also received international acclaim.