New Delhi, June 19 : Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram along with Chief Minister Sheila Dixit today launched a Pilot Microcredit Scheme to provide loans at reasonable rates of interest to the slum dwellers of Ekta Vihar in Delhi.
The scheme would enable slum dwellers to get loans for retail trade, auto rickshaws and other vehicles, home improvement, education and other purposes.
The loan beneficiaries will also be able to secure life insurance cover from Life Insurance Corporation. This initiative has a potential to greatly improve the prosperity and opportunities of the slum dwellers and its success will enable its implementation in other slum areas, both in Delhi and around.
There are around four million slum dwellers in Delhi, the vast majority of whom are excluded from the benefits of India's economic growth and are unable to access financial services.
The Pilot Scheme has been prepared in consultation with selected Public Sector Banks and the Asha Community Health and Development Society, an NGO working in health and development of slum areas to provide microcredit to slum dwellers in Ekta Vihar.
The Scheme is a part of the Government initiatives to improve the level of financial inclusion in the country.
Andhra Bank, Bank of India, Canara Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Punjab National Bank, State Bank of India, Syndicate Bank, UCO Bank and Vijaya Banka are participating in the scheme. Life insurance cover would be provided by the Life insurance Corporation of India.