States should set up SCAs to take benefit from NHDFC to masses

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New Delhi, Sep 18 (UNI) Even after 11 years of the National Handicapped Finanace and Development Corporation (NHFDC) coming into existence, there are several states which are yet to put in place a mechanism to take its benefit to the masses.

States like Bihar, Orissa, Mizoram, Sikkim and Meghalaya have not set up State Channelising Agencies (SCAs) which are important and active partners of NHFDC for taking assistance to the grass-roots level, Secretray, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment K M Acharya said here today.

''In the absence of adequate channels, the disabled will continue to be deprived of the flexible and concessional finance being provided by the Government through NHFD,'' he said at the inaugural session of National Conference of NHFDC here.

Though significant efforts have been made at NHFDC and Ministry level, some State governments are not giving serious and required attention, he added.

While releasing the first Newsletter of NHFDC on this occasion, Mr Acharya said from next year onward, NHFDC will be involved in disbursing scholarships to disabled through National Fund for Disabled Persons.

He also announced that a major scheme to provide jobs to disabled in the corporate sector would be given due importance and publicised at national level soon.

The Scheme gives incentives to employers in private sector in the form of grant from the Central Government for EPF and ESI benefit for the disabled employees of the company.

He also said since the National Policy for persons with Disabilities assigns an important role to NHFDC for self-employment ventures, the existing procedures need to be streamlined and diversified for the benefit of all the poor and the needy in a time-bound manner.

The Corporation was also extending loans for pursuing education thereby leading to vocational growth and self-employment.

NHFDC, having no zonal or regional office set up, can aspire for reaching the unreached through State Channelising Agencies (SCAs), he said.

M Ravi Kant, M D NHFDC told the gathering that since the NHFDC's inception in 1997, thirty five thousand and four hundred thirty (35430) disabled people had been provided with financial assistance to the tune of Rupees one hundred seventy four crore and sixty two lakh (Rs 174.62 crore).


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