Prez launches scheme to empower women through SHGs

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Pune, Oct 10 (UNI) President Pratibha Patil today launched Maharashtra's flagship programme of empowering 3 million women in the state in the next three years through women's Self Help Groups (SHGs).

The Rs 600 crore programme will be implemented through 60,000 women's self help groups.

Women would be provided loans of varying amounts at a highly subsidised interest rate of 4% through different banks.

Banks, however, will charge the women 7% and above but the state government would provide interest subsidy of about 4% in the amount given to various women from SHGs for various vocations like papad-making and other activities.

Speaking on the occasion, Ms Patil said the programme would go a long way in empowering women particularly in the naxal-affected districts of Vidarbha region.

The President arrived to a warm welcome in this cultural capital of Maharashtra where Governor S C Jamir and Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil received her at the Pune Air Force Station. Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh received the President at Ganesh Kala Krida Rangmanch where she dedicated the scheme to the women of Maharashtra.

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