Post offices to facilitate micro-credit to women SHGs in NE

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Agartala, Oct 1 (UNI) Indian postal department has agreed to disburse the fund sanctioned by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) under various micro credit schemes to women Self Help Groups(SHGs) in the northeastern region along with eight other states of the country.

Official sources said here today that the scheme was successfully operationalised in five districts in Tamil Nadu on a pilot basis, adding the post office had already disbursed credit to the tune of Rs 1.35 crore to 165 women SHGs. No default was noticed in the repayment, sources informed.

Besides northeastern (NE) states, the scheme will be implemented in Bihar, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh. Altogether 2,900 groups had been formed for credit linkage with 2000 post offices in nine postal divisions, so far.

The scheme would aid the postal department in cross selling its financial and insurance services to the members of the SHGs and strengthening their financial and life security, officials said.

They added that it would help continuing the relevance of rural post offices and their closeness to the public.

The officials also said the post offices in the country had already disbursed about Rs 2,900 crore as wages to the beneficiaries of National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), adding the total number of accounts opened for NREGS payments amounted to Rs 1.5 crore.

Postmasters have been specially trained in nurturing SHGs and making inspections, the officials informed.

According to them, simple interest at rate of nine per cent would be charged on the loans, out of which India Post has a share of three percent and the rest would to be given to NABARD.

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